Man charged over suspicious fire - Nowra

Tuesday, 01 June 2021 06:28:09 PM

A man has been charged with arson, following a suspicious fire at a South Coast property last year.

On Tuesday 5 January 2020, a home on Yalwal Road, Barringella, west of Nowra, was destroyed by fire.

The fire was deemed suspicious and detectives from South Coast Police District established Strike Force Cairnlea to investigate the circumstances surrounding the blaze.

As part of inquiries, strike force investigators – with the assistance of the State Crime Command’s Financial Crimes Squad – executed a search warrant at the Barringella property on Friday 19 March 2021.

During the search, investigators seized $500,000 cash from a safe, a .22 Remington pump action rifle with scope and silencer, ammunition and an electronic stun device.

A 58-year-old man was later charged with possess unregistered firearm - not prohibited firearm/pistol, not keep firearm safely - not prohibited firearm/pistol, possess ammunition without holding licence/permit/authority, and two counts of possess or use a prohibited weapon without permit.

Following extensive inquiries, just after 12.15pm Friday 28 May 2021, the same man was arrested at Nowra Police Station and charged with arson.

It will be further alleged the Barringella man fraudulently obtained seven bushfire relief payments totalling $225,000, as well $376,000 in insurance payments.

Police will apply for the $500,000 seized during the search warrant in March to be forfeited to the Crown as proceeds of crime.

Further charges are expected to be laid.

Inquiries under Strike Force Cairnlea continue.