11:10AM, Monday 03 July 2017
Police officers searched an address in Iver as part of an operation which seized 79 guns this weekend.
A joint investigation between the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Metropolitan Police Service found an importation of firearms was imminent.
On Saturday, a vehicle was stopped in France before it entered the Channel Tunnel en-route to the UK. Searches found a huge haul of 4mm and 6mm handguns, as well as ammunition, hidden in specially adapted concealments in engine blocks.
Janusz Michek, 59, a Polish national, was arrested at the scene and Denis Kolencukov, 23, originally from the Czech Republic but living in the UK, was arrested as he arrived in Dover.
Both have been charged with knowingly being concerned in the fraudulent evasion of a prohibition or restriction on a prohibited weapon or ammunition, and conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life or enable another to do so. The pair were remanded in custody.
They will appear at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court at 10am today.
No further action will be taken against six individuals arrested - four women aged 58, 41, 17 and 15 and two men aged 26 and 22. All are Polish nationals.
Officers from the joint NCA-Metropolitan Police Organised Crime Partnership (OCP) searched an address in Iver with support from Thames Valley Police as part of the investigation and enquiries are ongoing.
Graham Gardner, NCA deputy director of investigations, said: “This joint operation has resulted in a large number of viable firearms being taken out of circulation before they could reach the UK. Whilst we are in the early stages of our investigation, I believe these weapons were intended for criminal use in either London or across the UK and it goes without saying the risk they would have posed to the public.
“Our recent threat assessment highlights that handguns are still commonly favoured by some criminal groups in the UK. They may not be the largest firearm, but they are easily concealable and lethal in the hands of anyone prepared to use them.”
Anyone with possible information of illegal firearms should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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