An arms dealer who helped ship thousands of AK47 assault rifles and millions of rounds of ammunition from China to Nigeria has been jailed for seven years.
Gary Hyde, 43, looked tearful as he was sentenced following his conviction for two counts of breaching UK trade controls and concealing criminal property. Hyde, of Mask Lane, Newton on Derwent, near York, moved the weapons without a licence and hid more than £620,460 in commission payments.
The deal between the two countries' governments was lawful, but Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith said Hyde was caught out by his own greed.He failed to apply for a licence to take part in the deal, fearing it would be refused, but was attracted by the "enormous profits" to be made, the judge said.
An arms dealer from Yorkshire has been found guilty of helping to ship thousands of AK47 assault rifles and millions of rounds of ammunition from China to Nigeria. Gary Hyde, 43, Newton on Derwent, near York, was convicted by a jury at Southwark Crown Court of breaching UK trade controls.
He moved the weapons without a licence and hid more than one million US dollars (£620,460) in commission payments, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said.
The Court heard the delivery from China to Nigeria in 2007 was made up of:
40,000 AK47 assault rifles
10,000 9mm pistols
32 million rounds of ammunition
Hyde was convicted after a retrial of two counts of becoming knowingly concerned in the movement of controlled goods. He was also found guilty of one count of concealing criminal property after he was alleged to have hidden the profits in a bank in Liechtenstein.
"Hyde was an experienced arms dealer who thought he could deliberately not comply with the law in order to make some extra money to hide offshore. He knew full well that his activity required a licence but he decided not to comply with the law, and we are delighted that after an extensive investigation he has been bought to justice."