A police report warns that gun smuggling is currently booming in the United Kingdom. Lethal weapons, including assault rifles and machine guns, and ammunition for them are being smuggled to the UK using the internet and postal services.
According to the report, customers are using legitimate sites to buy guns online. An interesting point, however, is that the dark web is being less popular in this kind of activity. Buyers are not using dark net markets to buy their weapons since the risks are too high, the package can be caught more easily and dark web gun vendors are quite untrustworthy.
The report also revealed that customs in the UK are struggling with the catching of weapon parcels. For example, there was only one bust since 2009 of Baikal pistols, which is a pretty popular weapon type among criminals in the United Kingdom.
The official report statements go by:
”The NCA assess that the circulation of, and demand for, firearms and ’mass casualty weapons’ has increased within the criminal marketplace. Firearms continue to enter the criminal market through a variety of means, including direct importation through post/fast parcels and thefts from legitimate firearms holders or dealers. In the UK, post and fast parcels are likely to constitute one of the most popular methods of illegally importing firearms and firearms components. This may be due to the fact that the smuggling of firearms using mail parcels is perceived as being particularly cost efficient (although the numbers of actual firearms seized in post/fast parcel importations remain low).
The purchasing of firearms via the dark web is a relatively small threat, albeit a serious one. It is risky for a customer as there’s no way of knowing whether it is a scam or not.”
”This is the first time Baikal pistols have been detected at the UK border since 2009, although their continued use in criminality in the UK is prevalent”, said the report about Baikal pistols.
The report continues:
”It is unclear how criminals in the UK source ammunition. Ammunition can be made using presses and firearms powder. It is likely that importation through ferry ports or diversion from legitimate suppliers feeds criminal supply. The NCA continues to work with partners to bridge this gap in understanding.”