A Czech man involved in the importation of a semi-automatic gun and live ammunition into the UK has been sentenced following a National Crime Agency investigation.
Radek Dobias, 42, formerly of Sunlight Street, Anfield, Liverpool, was handed a 12-year and nine month jail term today at Manchester Crown Court.
In April 2018, Border Force officers at the port of Dover discovered a Slovakian-made Grand Power Stribog SR9A2 rifle and 465 rounds of ammunition concealed in foam in a van.
The van driver said he knew nothing about the lethal haul, and had been to the Czech Republic to collect a racing buggy for his boss.
NCA forensic officers found Dobias’s DNA on the recovered firearm, but he was not in the UK at the time.
He was tracked down in the Czech Republic and after serving a four-year sentence for unrelated theft, criminal damage and forgery offences, he flew into Manchester Airport in March 2022.
NCA officers were waiting for him and he was arrested.
Dobias was charged with attempting to import a firearm and ammunition, and pleaded guilty at Manchester Crown Court on 30 November last year.
NCA Branch Commander Mark Howes said: “Radek Dobias played an integral role in this importation attempt, with evidence showing he handled the gun and ammunition personally.
“These items had the potential to cause serious injury and death, and the group had imported enough ammunition to do untold damage if used on the streets.
“Tackling the criminal trade in firearms is a priority for the NCA, and we work closely with Border Force and international partners to disrupt their flow into the UK.”
Dobias’s criminal associate, Marek Platko, 32, of Pinehurst Road, Anfield, Liverpool, was arrested at Liverpool John Lennon Airport two days after the seizure as he flew in from Prague.
He was convicted of importing a firearm and ammunition by a jury at Canterbury Crown Court in December 2018 and sentenced to 22 years imprisonment.
The van driver was cleared of the same charge.
18 March 2023