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Firearms dealer convicted of supplying weapons and ammunition

14/11/2017

A registered firearms dealer from Gloucester has today (14 November 2017) been found guilty of supplying illicit guns and ammunition linked to over 100 crimes around the country.

A jury at Birmingham Crown Court heard how 65-year-old Paul Edmunds used his knowledge and role as a dealer to source, purchase, import and then supply prohibited guns and ammunition to Dr Mohinder Surdhar, aged 57, from Handsworth, Birmingham.

Surdhar then sold them on to the criminal underworld.

The weapons and ammunition have been directly linked to crimes across nine police forces including murders, attempted murders and the 2011 Birmingham riots when shots were fired at the West Midlands Police helicopter.

The sole benefit for both men was money. The prosecution proved at trial that Edmunds had unexplained deposits of more than £350,000.

Edmunds imported huge quantities of antique and other firearms from the USA over a six-year period and was also responsible for manufacturing specialist ammunition to fit the handguns.

Following his arrest officers discovered Edmunds had also falsified entries in his firearms register and damaged tools which he had used to make the ammunition. This was in an attempt to remove unique markings to frustrate later scientific examination.

Surdhar pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to conspiracy to transfer prohibited weapons and ammunition.

Edmunds was found guilty of conspiracy to transfer prohibited weapons and ammunitions, two counts of perverting the course of justice, transferring prohibited weapons, possession of prohibited weapons and importing firearms from America. He pleaded guilty to exporting ammunition.

Both men will be sentenced at a later date.

Warren Stanier from the CPS said: "These two men used their expertise to exploit the illicit firearms market for financial gain and in doing so put the lives of the general public and police in danger.

"The CPS built a compelling case against the defendants using expert evidence provided by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service and the West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit.

"We work with colleagues in the criminal justice system to identify and robustly pursue those involved throughout the supply chain for illegal firearms. The removal of Edmunds and Surdhar from that supply chain has reduced criminals' opportunity to source firearms and use them in further serious crimes."

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. Warren Stanier is a prosecutor in the Complex Casework Unit in CPS West Midlands
  2. For the latest in breaking news from the CPS Press Office follow @cpsuk on Twitter and visit our official News Brief - blog.cps.gov.uk
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