An arms dealer named Umair Khan was recently jailed after getting caught buying guns and ammunition illegally from darknet sites.
He went by the alias, “cheeko412” on dark web markets to buy weapons, which he then sold to organized crime groups and even young boys.
The 29-year-old online guns trafficker was finally identified after he tried to buy a hand grenade from the dark web.
He was also buying large amounts of custom made ammunition to use with various weapons like antique revolvers.
It was also found out that he had sold arms items to 16-year-old boys. Unfortunately, only seven of the guns sold to minors have been recovered so far.
The authorities are still pursuing various leads to track the rest of the illegally sold guns.
How Law Enforcement Caught Him Red Handed
The dealer ordered the grenade to be delivered to his home in Birmingham.
The authorities caught wind of his transaction and managed to intercept his parcel. Then they changed the real grenade with a non-explosive one.
Once they caught Khan red-handed, the authorities found nearly 50 revolvers and about 15 rounds of ammo at his home.
A few arms devices like stun guns were disguised as various items like torches and knuckle dusters.
The investigation was conducted by officers from the National Crime Agency and Metropolitan Police Service’s Joint Organized Crime Partnership.
He arranged the entire process in such a way that he got his arms and ammunition imported to the U.K. from an ammunition manufacturer who sold through the dark web.
The weapons and ammo he bought were hidden in postal parcels and delivered to his home address.
The packages were marked as being sent from Sweden. Khan then sold the weapons to people in organized crime factions and others who were looking to buy guns illegally.
His network of clients ran all across the U.K.
One of the guns that the authorities managed to recover was from a drug dealer in West Midlands who had a long record of selling class A drugs.
Though they were able to track him and catch him in a stolen vehicle, they are still looking for the remaining sold weapons.
Once Khan was caught, he admitted to selling and buying arms illegally over the dark web.
He was later jailed for a period of 22-and-a-half years.
Khan’s Dark Web Operation
Nazim Hussain, who was Khan’s accomplice in the crime, was also arrested by the authorities earlier this year.
While Khan made sure all the arms were imported properly, Hussain was in charge of storing the illegally bought items.
He was also given the responsibility of delivering the weapons to clients.
Hussain was sentenced to nine years in prison by the Birmingham Crown Court.
Judge Peter Carr said that Khan spent more than 50,000 pounds for buying weapons online and that the last grenade he bought was addressed to a mother of two children.
He also described both Khan and Hussain as the “Premier League” of arms traffickers.
According to Spencer Barnett, who works at the Organized Crime Partnership, Khan didn’t even give a second thought about what his clients might be using the guns for.
Although they believe that more than 50 revolvers were sold by him so far, authorities will be going more in-depth in the investigation to see if his arms operation was any bigger than what is expected now.
Arms Trafficking on the Dark Web
The authorities have been investigating various individuals across the dark web for months now, as it is extremely easy to illegally sell arms across the network.
Barnett also said that the dark web is a very convenient distribution channel for dealers to sell guns to people all over the world.
He also mentioned that his department, along with others, utilizes both traditional and cutting-edge techniques to target and track dark web criminals.