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International arms smuggler jailed

An international arms dealer has been found guilty for illegally supplying ammunition to Nigeria from China.

Gary Hyde arrange the purchase and shipment of 80,000 weapons and 32 rounds of ammunition through his UK registered company, in turn breaching UK trade controls.

Hyde ignored the fact that a licence was required and hid in excess of US$1 million (£620,465) of commission payments in respect of a $10 million contract. His ill-gotten gains were then transferred to an offshore bank account in Liechtenstein to hide the proceeds.

HMRC investigators searched Hyde's business premises and home before discovering emails of correspondence which shed light on the situation. They also used mobile phone records to track his movements to prove a UK licence had been required.

Assistant director of HMRC Criminal Investigations Peter Millroy labelled Hyde an 'experienced arms dealer' and argued he knew 'full well' his activities required a licence and his decision not to comply with the law was 'deliberate'.

Hyde will be sentenced on 23 November with a separate timetable to be set for confiscations.

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