Gun-runner caught en route to Great Yarmouth with haul of weapons in specially-adapted car
PUBLISHED: 08:29 28 October 2017 | UPDATED: 11:10 28 October 2017
A gun runner who smuggled a haul of weapons, ammunition and silencers into the UK in a specially-adapted car has been jailed for 10 years.
Aivaras Vysniauskas, 33, was caught with the haul of weapons in a car he was driving at Dover as he started to head towards Great Yarmouth, where he claimed he lived.
A search of the Peugeot revealed a purpose-built concealment around the car’s transmission housing.
Inside, officers discovered 10 Russian-made Baikal handguns, 10 silencers and around 100 rounds of 9mm ammunition.
In interviews with National Crime Agency (NCA) investigators Vysniauskas said he had been living in Great Yarmouth before returning to Lithuania and had bought the car himself.
He claimed he had also built the concealment into the car and had put the firearms, silencers and ammunition in there.
NCA firearms experts found the guns had been modified to fire 9mm ammunition, the barrels had been threaded to fit a silencer and each gun had its serial number filed off.
The haul was discovered at Dover on March 6 2016.
Vysniauskas was jailed yesterday for 10 years at Canterbury Crown Court after he had previously admitted importing the firearms.
The court heard there had been a passenger in the car Gytis Vysniauskas, 46 and who was not related to Aivaras. He was jailed for 15 years after being found guilty of firearms offences.
The court was told both men had said that they were heading to Great Yarmouth where Aivaras claimed he lived – but Border Force Officers were suspicious of the vehicle and carried out a detailed search.
Aivaras then told police he was offered £2,000 to make the gun run and had carried out the conversion of the British-registered Peugeot himself in order the stash the weapons.
After the case Debbie Cook, Dover operations manager for the NCA, said: “Aivaras and Gytis Vysniauskas were gun runners working for a criminal network, and our investigation into the wider network around them continues at home and overseas.
“These lethal weapons were destined for the criminal marketplace where they would have had the potential to do untold damage.”