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Man charged after AFP Commissioner impersonated in alleged plot to overthrow government

A member of a group that allegedly made plans to overthrow the Federal government and was responsible for a video circulated on social media falsely claiming to feature Australian Federal Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw has been charged.

Police in recent weeks uncovered a group of people who allegedly arranged the manufacture of AFP replica badges that ended up dumped in a Queensland creek, and were also involved in the creation of the social media video detailing anti-government sentiment and encouraging others to join.

AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw

AFP Commissioner Reece KershawCredit:Alex Ellinghausen

On Saturday, a Perth man was charged with impersonating a Commonwealth public official.

Police allege the 49-year-old Tuart Hill man claimed to be an AFP official during an unsuccessful attempt to obtain stamps and ID badges bearing the official AFP logo from a commercial business.

The man was identified and he was found to be part of a group of people across Australia who regularly met online and talked about their shared interest in taking over the federal government, police allege.

The talks also allegedly included the creation of “arrest warrants” for several high-profile politicians and public servants.

Police searched six properties across Brisbane, Cairns and Townsville, and also South Australia and Perth.

Last week, investigators were alerted to a shipment of three boxes of replica AFP badges that were consigned to a house in Cairns, far north Queensland, where a member of the group lived.

The three boxes with 470 badges inside were found dumped in a nearby creek by Queensland police.

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