Monday, February 18, 2008

British Soldiers arrested for selling machineguns and grenades to gangs

From the UK Daily Mail

British soldiers arrested for 'selling' machine guns and grenades to gangsters
Last updated at 12:26pm on 18th February 2008 Three soldiers have been arrested on suspicion of stealing machine guns and grenades from their base and selling them to gangsters.

A 36-year-old sergeant and two lance corporals - a man of 27 and a 26-year-old woman - were arrested when police raided their barracks in Canterbury, Kent.

The NCOs from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders are said to have been raking in a fortune stealing guns, rifle ammunition, grenades and flares from Howe barracks - then selling them to criminal gangs in Scotland.

According to an army insider there were police squad cars all around the barracks and they then raided two homes in the married quarters and a flat in the barracks, as well as the sergeants' mess.

Four civilian men who are alleged to have bought stolen ammunition were also arrested in Glasgow in a carefully co-ordinated raid.

They are expected to appear at Glasgow Sheriff Court today.

It comes as the Argylls prepare to deploy to Afghanistan.

An MoD spokesman said: "The MoD can confirm that Kent Police have arrested three soldiers from 5 SCOTS on suspicion of the theft and supply of munitions.

"The arrests took place in Canterbury, where 5 SCOTS are based. Royal Military Police officers were in support. The MoD is co-operating fully with Kent Police as they pursue their investigation."

A Strathclyde Police spokesman said: "We can confirm that on Friday 15 February as part of an ongoing joint operation between Strathclyde Police and police forces south of the border, a number of people were arrested at addresses in Strathclyde and the south of England in connection with the theft of munitions and the subsequent supply of those munitions to people in the Strathclyde area.

"A total of four men aged 27, 25, 25 and 20 are the subject of a report to the Procurator Fiscal for a variety of offences under the Firearms Act and the Explosive Substances act."

Given the UK arsenal, I'd expect the troopers were selling off HG85 fragmentation grenades, SA80 rifles, and perhaps either Browning Hi-Power or SIG P226 handguns.

Since the article mentions rifle ammo, perhaps pistols weren't involved. Which also makes sense; while pistols are used in military service, they're used in considerably less numbers than rifles.

The 5 SCOTS, or the 5th Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland is an air assault battalion.

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