London

Prisoner guilty of plot to import sub-machine guns to UK

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Media captionDetectives managed to seize some of the guns - but several were never recovered

A jailed robber has been found guilty of masterminding a plot to import sub-machine guns into the UK.

From his cell in Wandsworth Prison, Alexander Mullings, 23, smuggled the weapons into the country from Germany using delivery firm Parcelforce.

Three of the semi-automatic weapons were seized by police but five more packages are known to have been delivered before officers intervened.

His girlfriend and another man were also found guilty at the Old Bailey.

Mullings and Emily Ciantar, who acted as a courier, were found guilty of conspiring to possess firearms with intent to endanger life.

Co-defendant Spencer Inglis, who took delivery of one of the guns, was found guilty of possessing a prohibited weapon.

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Alexander Mullings, Emily Ciantar and Spencer Inglis had denied the charges

Mullings, originally from Islington, north London, was serving an eight-year sentence for a series of robberies at the time he used a mobile phone to arrange the importation between January and June last year.

The first gun was delivered to the Mitcham address of Inglis, 24, on 12 April.

Ciantar, 20, from Holloway, north London, arrived by minicab and handed over the Skorpion gun and 74 rounds of ammunition just hours before police, who had been watching the house, raided it.

The second weapon was recovered on 15 May after it was intercepted in the post while the third was seized at an international postal hub in Coventry on 19 June.

All the defendants had denied involvement in the plot.

Mullings told jurors he was acting under duress to protect Ciantar from a man identified in court only as "Mr X" who was demanding drugs money from her.

Ciantar initially denied being the person in the minicab but subsequently changed her story, claiming she was delivering drugs.

But she was identified in photos found on her mobile phone of a person holding a Zoraki handgun by an "A" tattoo on her wrist.

All the guns were deactivated weapons that the supplier had reactivated.

Det Ch Insp Rebecca Reeves, of Operation Trident, said: "These types of firearms are some of the most dangerous weapons I have ever seen reach the hands of UK criminals."

Mullings, Ciantar and Inglis will be sentenced on 26 February.

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