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International arms smuggler jailed

Press Release   •   Oct 26, 2012 14:33 BST

An international arms dealer has been found guilty for the illegal supply of 80,000 weapons and 32 million rounds of ammunition from China to Nigeria. 

Gary Hyde, 43, helped to arrange for the purchase and shipment of the guns, including AK47 assault rifles and Makarov pistols, along with ammunition from China to Nigeria, from his UK registered company breaching UK trade controls.

Hyde, intentionally ignored the requirement to have a licence and hid in excess of $1 million of commission payments paid in respect of a $10 million contract.  The ill-gotten gains were transferred to his offshore bank account located in Liechtenstein in an attempt to hide the proceeds of his crime.

Following a search of Hyde’s business premises and home, HMRC investigators discovered emails from Hyde’s computer which confirmed that he was an integral part of the deal. They also used mobile phone records to trace Hyde’s movements to prove that he was in the UK when making the shipment arrangements between China and Nigeria, meaning a UK control licence was required for this deal. 

Peter Millroy, Assistant Director of HMRC Criminal Investigations, said:

“Hyde was an experienced  arms dealer who thought he could deliberately not comply with the law in order to make some extra money to hide offshore.  

“He knew full well that his activity required a licence but he decided not to comply with the law, and we are delighted that after an extensive investigation he has been bought to justice.”

He will be sentenced on 23 November 2012. A timetable will be set for confiscation proceedings. 

Notes for editors

Details of defendant: Gary Hyde DOB  08/04/1969 of Ivy Cottage, Mask Lane, Newton on Derwent, York

Hyde was convicted of two counts of being knowingly concerned in the movement of controlled goods with intent to evade the prohibition on actions done or arrangements made in connection with the movement of controlled goods between third countries contrary to Article 9(2) of The Trade in Goods Control Order 2003; and one count of Concealing Criminal Property, contrary to section 327 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

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Issued by HM Revenue & Customs Press Office

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the UK’s tax authority.

HMRC is responsible for making sure that the money is available to fund the UK’s public services and for helping families and individuals with targeted financial support.