Just a few months after his case had been thrown out of court, a British arms dealer who had arranged to sell 80, 000 AK47 rifles and 32 million rounds of ammunition has been sentenced to prison for seven years.
Gary Hyde had arranged to sell this cache of arms to Nigeria. He had previously oversaw the shipment of tens of thousands of assault rifles, 9mm pistols, rifles and bullets from Africa to China in 2007, reports the Telegraph.
Hyde, who had gotten in the arms trade when he was as young as 14, broke British legislation put in place to control the trade and transportation of the weapons despite being regarded as an “authority” on those laws.
The York-based businessman acted in a “deliberate and calculated breach of the law” to execute the $1.3m (£808, 000) deal in return for around £280, 000, which he attempted to stash away in a bank account in Liechtenstein which was registered in the name of a trust of which Hyde and his children were named as the sole beneficiaries.
At the conclusion of a 10-day trial in October, a jury unanimously convicted Hyde of two counts of breaching UK laws and one count of concealing criminal property.
Hyde, with no previous convictions, had initially been charged to court on the same charges, but acquitted.
But prosecutors took the case to the Court of Appeal and the judge’s decision to terminate the trial was overruled. Southwark Crown Court then commenced the second trial and sentenced Hyde to seven years on Wednesday.
Prosecutor Mukul Chawla QC said, “This case is about the shipment of huge quantity of guns and ammunition from China to Nigerian in 2007.
“That shipment, because it was partly arranged and organised from the UK by Gary Hyde, required the permission of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills in the form of a license.
“Mr Hyde, despite knowing that such a license was required, helped to organize the shipment without seeking and obtaining the required licence.”