(LONDON) Southwark Crown Court Report: Members of a London-based organised crime group are facing jail time after being convicted of possessing and supplying handguns and ammunition #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – June.04: They were found guilty on Friday 28 May following a seven-day trial at Southwark Crown Court:

National Crime Agency and Metropolitan Police Service surveillance teams watched as Kuts left his home carrying a brown paper bag on 12 October last year, and got into a black BMW 5 Series registered to Mark.

Image showing three convicted men.

Artem Kuts, 39, of the Isle of Dogs, and Oliver Mark, 40, of Stratford, were among four people arrested as part of a National Crime Agency investigation into the supply of firearms.

A third man, Alexander Georgiev (also known as Ernis Piranej), 26, of no fixed abode, who pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing, was seen getting in and out of the same car several times carrying the brown paper bag. He later got into a blue BMW empty handed.

Following this, armed officers descended on the black car and found the bag in the rear passenger footwell. It contained a Russian brand Baikal self-loading pistol and eight rounds of Makarov ammunition. Mark, who was in the driver’s seat, and Kuts, who was in the rear passenger seat, were both arrested for possession of a firearm.

Georgiev was arrested for conspiring to supply a firearm minutes later, as he attempted to flee in the blue car. A fourth person in that car was initially arrested for the same offence but later released. No further action was taken against him. 

Police then searched Kuts’ home on Claire Place and found two more guns and 14 rounds of ammunition of the same type, which had been hidden in the garden. They had been packaged heavily and wedged in the corner between the wall and a garden storage unit.

Jacque Beer, NCA Regional Head of Investigations, said: “The seriousness of gun crime cannot be underestimated. Had we not intercepted these weapons they would have been used to kill, threaten and intimidate others.

“Organised criminals like Kuts, Mark and  Georgiev perpetuate violent crime and are only motivated by financial gain.

“The NCA works tirelessly to stop criminals getting their hands on firearms, and to pursue those who use them to unleash violence and fear in our communities.”

All three are due to be sentenced on 17 June at Southwark Crown Court.

1 June 2021

#AceNewsDesk report ……….Published: Jun.04: 2021:

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(LONDON) NCA REPORT: ALERT: Issued to U.K. Maritme Industry warning them that organised crime groups may target them to obtain small boats for people smugglers #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – May.05: This has led to a rise in demand for vessels to aid migrant Channel crossings, with demand likely to continue as weather conditions improve through spring and summer:

‘UK law enforcement detected in excess of eight thousand migrant arrivals throughout 2020’

#CoronavirusNewsDesk – NCA Issue a warning to maritime industry over organised crime links to small boats: ‘The alert warns that since global #COVID19 lockdown measures were imposed in March 2020 the number of migrants attempting to enter the UK using small boats has increased significantly’

Seized boats

Organised crime groups are known to target legitimate sellers of vessels and equipment such as outboard motors and life jackets, both in person and online. There are also incidents recorded of boats and equipment being stolen: The NCA have conducted a number of operations targeting those who supply boats to people smugglers, but the Agency is asking those in the industry to report concerns or suspicious activity relating to the purchase of boat equipment:

NCA Head of Organised Immigration Crime Operations, Miles Bonfield, said: “Today we are directly appealing to those within the marine and maritime industries to help us stop those involved in organised people smuggling: “ Crossing the channel in vessels like these is extremely dangerous and life threatening – but the organised crime groups involved don’t care about safety or welfare, they just see migrants as a commodity to be exploited: “ We’re already working closely with a range of partners in the UK and on the continent to target the supply of these vessels, but we are now asking that the UK industry helps us and report any suspicions they may have.”

The NCA alert outlines a number of examples of potentially suspicious activity, including:

  • Cash being used in large sums to make payment;
  • Unusual combination of boats and equipment in one transaction;
  • Enquiries about bulk purchase of equipment i.e. life jackets;
  • Repeat purchasing of boats and/or equipment from the same retailer;
  • Lack of concern about the condition of the boat or equipment being purchased, or an indication that it may not be for the buyers’ use;
  • Customers wanting to complete their transaction and collection as quickly as possible.
  • Online buyers travelling to collect the boat and/or avoiding providing a fixed delivery address.

Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine, the trade association for the UK leisure, superyacht and small commercial marine industry, commented: “ We are pleased to be working with the NCA to help raise awareness of this concerning issue and to reduce criminal activity. The NCA plays a key role in supporting the security and safety of the marine industry, and today’s warning about organised crime linked to small boats in particular is ultimately a safety issue and one that British Marine and our members take very seriously.

“The UK leisure marine industry must always play it’s part and I am confident that British Marine members will take the lead in this area and share the warning and ‘red flags’ to be mindful of within their businesses.”

Miles Bonfield added: “ Essentially we want people to follow their gut feeling. They know their industry and their customers well. If they sense something isn’t quite right or seems unusual, then please report it to the charity Crimestoppers, either by phone on 0800 555 111 or online. You will remain anonymous.”

Following a number of attempted thefts boat and marine equipment owners are also being asked to pay particular attention to security guidelines, ensuring vessels and equipment are secured accordingly: They can also assist by being vigilant and reporting any strange activity or behaviour, and ensure thefts are promptly reported, particularly vessels or engines.

Those contacting Crimestoppers with information should quote the alert reference ‘0647-OIC’.
Anyone who lives or works around our coastline, marinas, ports or waterways and witnesses something they believe to be suspicious can always call the police on 101, quoting Project KRAKEN, or visit gov.uk/report-border-crime.

#AceNewsDesk report …Published: May.05: 2021:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#alert, #london, #maritime-industry, #nca, #ocg, #organised-crime-groups, #smugglers