According to reports, Moynul Haque, a 21-year-old West Midlands (Smethwick) man, was jailed for ten months after he purchased parts of a Glock handgun from the dark web, which is a collection of websites not accessible by popular browsers.
The Wolverhampton Court issued the sentence on 28 June 2016.
The investigation into the case was jointly conducted by the Department of Homeland Security and National Crime Agency.
Moynul Haque and the Dark Web
Moynul Haque ordered the gun parts from the dark web from a vendor that was based in Michigan in the US.
The anonymous seller hid the gun parts in an antique radio. This parcel was posted to Moynul from a Michigan address.
When the US Customs officers intercepted the parcel, it was found to contain parts of a Glock 9mm handgun: recoil spring, barrel and pistol slide.
Haque resided in Smethwick’s Brasshouse Lane with three siblings and his parents.
The search unearthed a laptop and some amphetamine, a drug. Haque was arrested from his house on May 5 last year.
Together with assistance from the Cyber Crime Unit of the West Midlands Police, officers of the NCA unearthed evidence that the handgun parts were ordered from the dark web.
The evidence also pointed to the fact that the gun parts cost him around £900, and he had also attempted to check the online status of the dispatched parcel. He had made the payment in Bitcoins.
According to Prosecutor Philip Beardwell and the local media, Moynul Haque’s motive in ordering the gun parts was not clear.
The investigating officers said that no evidence pointed out he was part of any network or having received money from a third party to make the purchase on their behalf.
There were no evident links to terror groups either. The case has since aroused a lot of curiosity.
Moynul Haque pleaded guilty on two counts: illegal importation of firearms and possession of Class B drugs.
The Birmingham border investigation team head Dawn Cartwright said that they could crack the case only because of the cooperation of the investigating teams and law enforcement agencies of both UK and the US.
The cracking of the case also meant that a potentially lethal weapon was prevented from making its way into the West Midlands streets.
Moynul’s defense counsel Shiva Misra said that his client was unemployed when he tried to purchase the Glock handgun parts.
However, he was a computer games enthusiast and spent a lot of time playing video games.
It was purported that he got the whole idea from television and the video games.
Moynul Haque was a reasonable introvert and the defense counsel argued that client did not have an idea of the full implications his actions at the time when he placed the order for the Glock 9 mm handgun parts on the dark web.
However, spending that amount of money to satisfy his curiosity also did not seem likely, the investigating officers said.