A gang of Ukrainian gun dealers have been jailed for a total of 29 years for supplying handguns and ammunition to members of the underworld in the UK.
Artem Kuts, 39, and Oliver Mark, 40, were arrested during an investigation into the supply of firearms by organised crime groups in East London.
National Crime Agency (NCA) surveillance teams watched as Kuts left his home carrying a brown paper bag on October 12 last year, and got into a black BMW 5 Series registered to Mark.
A third man, Alexander Georgiev, 26, was seen getting in and out of the same car several times carrying the brown paper bag. He was jailed for six years.
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Armed officers descended on the black car and found the bag in the rear passenger footwell.
It contained a Russian brand Baikal self-loading pistol and eight rounds of Makarov ammunition. Mark and Kuts were both arrested for possession of a firearm.
Georgiev was arrested for conspiring to supply a firearm minutes later, as he attempted to flee in a blue BMW.
Officers then searched Kuts’ home and found two more Baikals and 14 rounds of ammunition, which had been hidden in the garden. They had been packaged heavily and wedged in the corner between the wall and a garden storage unit.
Kuts, of Claire Place, Isle of Dogs, denied but was convicted by a jury of attempted sale and transfer of a firearm prohibited weapon. He was jailed for 15 years.
Mark, of Romford Road, Stratford, was convicted of attempting to sell/transfer a firearm and sentenced to eight years imprisonment.
Georgiev (AKA Ernis Piranej), of no fixed address, admitted attempted transfer of a firearm and possession of a firearm and was jailed for six years.
Jacque Beer, NCA Regional Head of Investigations, said: “Illegal firearms drive serious violence, intimidation and coercion in our communities.
“Seizing handguns like the ones found in the Isle of Dogs, with the help of our partners at the Metropolitan Police Service, protects the public from this grave threat.
“The NCA works tirelessly to stop criminals like Kuts, Mark and Georgiev obtaining firearms and it is only right they should serve long jail sentences for their crimes”