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York gun dealer guilty of smuggling
2:50pm Friday 26th October 2012 in News
An arms dealer from near York has been found guilty of helping to ship tens of thousands of guns and 32 million rounds of ammunition from China to Nigeria.
Gary Hyde, 43, of Mask Lane in Newton on Derwent, was convicted by a jury at Southwark Crown Court today of breaching UK trade controls.
He moved the weapons without a licence and hid more than one million US dollars (£620,460) in commission payments, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs said.
Southwark Crown Court heard the delivery from China to Nigeria in 2007 was made up of 40,000 AK47 assault rifles, 30,000 rifles and 10,000 9mm pistols, along with 32 million rounds of ammunition.
Hyde was convicted after a retrial of two counts of becoming knowingly concerned in the movement of controlled goods between March 2006 and December 2007.
He was also found guilty of one count of concealing criminal property between March 2006 and December 2008 after he was alleged to have hidden the profits in a bank in Liechtenstein.
Peter Millroy from HMRC said: "Hyde was an experienced arms dealer who thought he could deliberately not comply with the law in order to make some extra money to hide offshore.
"He knew full well that his activity required a licence but he decided not to comply with the law, and we are delighted that after an extensive investigation he has been bought to justice."
Hyde, who served as a special constable for seven years, will be sentenced on November 23.