An organised crime network has been sentenced to 42 years in prison for attempting to import six handguns and ammunition into the UK.
The four men were sentenced after being caught importing the firearms and ammunition into the country.
Rocky Thompson, 35, of no fixed address was sentenced to imprisonment for 15 years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to sell or transfer firearms, conspiracy to possess ammunition and conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
Shakeel Khaliq, 34, of Aylesbury, was sentenced to 14 years in jail after he was found guilty of conspiracy to sell or transfer firearms.
Yetgin Eken, 47, of no fixed address, was sentenced to 13 years behind bars after being found guilty for the conspiracy to sell or transfer firearms and conspiracy to possess ammunition.
Mohammed Raqib Tariq, 24, from Aylesbury was also found guilty following trial for participating in the activities of an Organised Criminal Group.
He was sentenced to a 21 month suspended sentence.
Detective Chief Inspector Driss Hayoukane, the Senior Investigating Officer (SIO), said: “This was a complex and fast moving investigation relating to firearms being trafficked into the UK. I am proud of the professionalism, dedication and hard work of my team who we were able to build such a compelling case to dismantle this OCN, which was evidently acknowledged by Rocky Thompson who entered a guilty plea at the earliest opportunity.
“The sentencing of this OCN underlines the commitment of the Metropolitan Police and our law enforcement partners to tackle those involved in trafficking firearms. We are steadfast in our determination keep them off our streets. We were able to seize six lethal guns, ammunition and heroin, just after they were brought into the country. I am satisfied that this operation has kept the lethal weapons from the hands of criminals and this has prevented serious if not fatal shootings within London or further afield.
“This is a good example of collaborative work between different police jurisdictions. This operation would have not been successful but for the help of officers from Thames Valley Police and Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies.”
The sentences came as the Metropolitan police announced high-harm offenders and criminals involved in firearms offences and shootings are set to be the focus of specialist officers this week.
From Monday, officers are said to be launching the upsurge in activity to tackle violent crime and firearms offences in London.
Last year 443 firearms were recovered, an increase of 107 on the previous year where 336 were found.
Detective Superintendent Nick Blackburn, from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, who is leading the week of upsurge, said: “Day in, day out, Met officers work tirelessly to remove dangerous weapons from the streets and protect both London’s residents and visitors to the Capital.
“This week is no different but we are going to be enhancing our resources, focusing on this particular crime type.
“The more work we put into reducing violent crime and arresting dangerous individuals, the safer I hope the summer will be for all of us.”
Information on how to report a suspected firearms discharge, or to provide details to the police on where firearms are being stored or who is in possession of a weapon can be made via 999, by tweeting @MetCC or via the website. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously.