4 May 2018
Two Slovakian men living in Liverpool have been arrested in connection with the seizure of a machine gun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
The weapon, a Slovakian-made Stribog SR9, was found by Border Force officers as they searched a VW refrigerated van on the evening of Monday 30 April. The weapon was loaded and hidden in a specially adapted concealment.
Boxes and a bag containing magazines and hundreds of rounds of ammunition were also recovered.
The driver of the vehicle, Slovakian national Peter Kral, 40, of Grassmere Street, Anfield, was arrested.
He was questioned by National Crime Agency officers and charged with possession and importation of a firearm. He appeared at Folkestone magistrates on Wednesday 2 May and was remanded in custody.
A second man, Maret Platko, 28, of Pinehurst Road, Anfield, was arrested by NCA officers in connection with the seizure as he arrived at Liverpool Airport on Wednesday 2 May.
He was also charged and appeared at Margate magistrates on Thursday 3 May.
The two men are next due to appear before Canterbury Crown Court on 30 May.
NCA Dover operations manager Richard Bowen said:
“There is no question in my mind that had it not been found by our Border Force colleagues the gun would have ended up on the criminal marketplace.
“This is a mass casualty weapon, and the thought of it in the hands of a criminal gang is terrifying.
“In stopping those attempting to import illegal firearms into the UK we have a direct impact in preventing violent crime on our streets.”