A man who operated a workshop converting blank firing pistols into lethal firearms from his home in the West Midlands has been jailed.
Officers from the National Crime Agency’s Armed Operations Unit raided 50-year-old Alireza Nowbakht’s property in Mallin Street, Smethwick, on 22 December 2022.
He had purchased seven of the weapons online from a legitimate supplier and had them delivered to a nearby address.
NCA officers had Nowbakht under surveillance as he picked up the consignment and took them back to his home.
Inside in an upstairs bedroom they found the makeshift workshop, including machining tools used to convert the guns, a viable weapon, live rounds of ammunition and ammunition casings.
Nowbakht also had a stolen VW Tiguan parked outside. The car had been taken from nearby Wednesbury 12 days prior, and had been disguised with cloned number plates.
After being interviewed by NCA officers he was charged with possessing a firearm, possessing ammunition and theft of a motor car.
Nowbakht admitted the charges and following a Newton Hearing at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Monday 10 July he was sentenced to five years in prison.
NCA Regional Head of Investigations Kay Mellor said:
“Alireza Nowbakht was purchasing blank firers and converting them into lethal weapons.
“He was clearly engaged in putting these weapons into the criminal supply chain in the West Midlands.
“As well as seizing illegal firearms currently in circulation, we will continue to prevent these weapons from making it onto the streets where they are used in acts of serious violence.”
12 July 2023