3 September 2018
A Czech lorry driver has been charged with possessing firearms after a haul of handguns was found in a truck arriving into Killingholme.
National Crime Agency investigators were called in after Border Force officers stopped 45-year-old David Abeles as he drove his HGV off a ferry from the Hook of Holland to the north Lincolnshire port on the morning of Saturday 1 September.
A search of the lorry uncovered ten Heckler and Koch P2000 handguns (pictured right), a type used by law enforcement agencies around the world. The weapons had been wrapped in individual packages which were inside a plastic crate stored in a pallet locker.
Around 250 rounds of compatible ammunition were also recovered. The bullets had been wrapped in bags of 25, and were inside the packages with the guns.
After being questioned by NCA officers Abeles was charged with possession offences and appeared before Grimsby Magistrates today (3 September). He was remanded in custody until his next court appearance at Leeds Crown Court on 24 September.
NCA branch commander David Norris said:
“Our investigation into this seizure is ongoing, but there is no doubt in my mind that these weapons would have found their way onto the black market and into the hands of criminals.
“The level of gun crime in the UK is one of the lowest in the world, but the potential for harm caused by these weapons make eliminating the criminal use of firearms a priority threat for the NCA and UK law enforcement.
“The NCA works internationally to disrupt the flow of firearms trafficked to the UK and Border Force is a vital partner in this work. This seizure was a great example of that in action.”
Mark Robinson, Assistant Director Border Force Humber Command, said:
“We are determined to prevent deadly weapons from reaching the UK’s streets. Detections like this demonstrate how Border Force officers are at the forefront of the fight to protect UK communities and individuals from such firearms.
“As well as conducting checks on arriving passengers, vehicles and cargo, Border Force work with their fellow law enforcement partners, like the National Crime Agency, to detect and stop these type of weapons from entering the UK.”