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Using dark web, man became “armorer” for British organized crime groups

By Gangsters Inc. Editors

Hiding behind the online alias “cheeko412,” 29-year old Umair Khan (above) supplied guns and ammunition to organized crime groups across the United Kingdom. His shady web surfing now lands him in prison as he has been jailed for 22 years.

Khan used his online identity to buy explosives, ammunition and stun guns from the dark web, including more than 50 revolvers and over 1,600 rounds of ammunition between August 2014 and February 2017. He was arrested by British police on February 20, 2017, after ordering a hand grenade and arranged for it to be delivered to an address in Birmingham but police officers intercepted it and replaced the contents with a non-explosive substitute before allowing it to be delivered.

When officers searched his home address they recovered four revolvers along with 15 rounds of ammunition. Investigators established that Khan was also actively buying large quantities of custom-made ammunition from the dark web, to use antique revolvers and weapons he had purchased from legitimate firearms dealers and auction houses across the country.

He arranged for the ammunition to be imported to the United Kingdom from an armorer and ammunition manufacturer on the dark web. The ammunition was then concealed within postal parcels and packets sent from Sweden in sophisticated vehicle concealments. Khan then sold the firearms, complete with ammunition, to organized crime groups across the country.

One weapon was recovered following a West Midlands Police investigation, fully loaded and in the hands of a drug dealer who was stopped in a stolen vehicle. A second man, Nazim Hussain, was arrested on February 21, 2017. He had been helping Khan to find places to store the weapons and ammunition. He was responsible for managing the dark web deliveries to multiple addresses across Birmingham, and ensuring they were signed for by others before being passed onto Khan on a later date.

Hussain was sentenced to nine years. At their sentencing, the judge described Khan and Hussain as being in the “premier league” of firearms suppliers.

“Khan set himself up as an armorer for organized crime groups and had no thought for where or how the weapons would be used,” Spencer Barnett from the Organised Crime Partnership said. “Although we have been able to link 50 revolvers to him, I believe he is linked to many more and we are looking into his wider criminal activities with support from West Midlands Police and the West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU).”

He continued, “The dark web is a distribution channel for the purchase and onward supply of illegal firearms in the UK, as well as in many European countries and the USA. We use a variety of traditional and innovative techniques to target and tackle criminals who use the dark web to conduct their business.”

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