Monday, January 31, 2005

Asylum seeker is gunrunner

An asylum seeker is smuggling guns into Britain:

In one year alone, 4,000 people were injured in shootings and 81 were shot dead. Last year Customs seized hundreds of pistols, machine guns and Semtex explosive being smuggled in by East European gangs.

Dark-haired Konstantin got into Britain six years ago after telling immigration officers he feared for his life after fighting against the Government in war-torn Georgia.

The Russian-speaking rebel disappeared into the system and now claims to be an underworld fixer supplying weapons to other criminals in Britain. He boasts he has NEVER worked, has been ARRESTED 16 times but has got away with it and HIDES behind a string of aliases using FIVE passports.

Konstantin lives in a house in Stratford, east London, drives several cars including a BMW and spends his days wheeler-dealing with other criminals.

Our investigator, posing as a villain, approached him after a tip-off and asked for guns.

Konstantin said: "No problem. I know a lot of people and a lot about guns. I have six years' experience of fighting in Georgia. I have many contacts."

He insisted on meeting in the car park of his local Safeway super-market and we asked him whether he could get a batch of ten 9mm guns with silencers. He said: "Whatever you want but it will not be possible all at once. These things are brought in one or two pieces at a time and always by car. They are from Russia and I use three different drivers to bring them. I have done it at least 20 times." He added: "The prices start at £1,500 each. You could get cheaper Bulgarian guns but those are shit."

Two days later, Konstantin arranged to meet our man outside the Tollgate pub in Beckton, east London. He said: "I have a car ready to move from Lithuania bringing four guns.

"They are all very good guns, a Beretta, a Makarov, a Browning and a Magnum 45. The Makarov is small and not heavy and is used by the secret police in Russia. They don't always kill but are used just to stop somebody in their tracks."The Magnum is different - it is very powerful and would bring down anything."

Asked whether he could get explosives Konstantin replied: "I can get you plastic and the clocks to go with them." He claims to have been picked up by police l6 times but has wriggled out of trouble with 10 bogus identities. As Konstantin spoke he fiddled with a foot-long dagger strapped under his trousers.

He told our man: "If you like it I give it to you as my gift. It will be my goodwill present for lots of future business together."

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