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A British gangster who has been convicted on firearms offences described an AK47 as giving him a 'hard on' in a series of disturbing encrypted messages obtained by the police.
Police investigators also managed to obtain photos of two men, Umair Zaheer, 34 and Bilal Khan, 33, posing with their rifles and claiming they were the 'daddy'.
The major gangland prosecution has revealed how the AK47 Russian assault rifle is seen as the weapon of choice for organised crime groups.
On Friday (February 4) a Warrington man named Robert Brazendale was jailed for his role in helping Salford gangsters source an AK47.
The prosecution found that after Brandon Moore, 24, and Jordan Waring, 24, survived a shooting in 2020 they began plotting ultimately unsuccessful revenge shooting with accomplice Umair Zaheer, 34.
Brazendale was involved in handing the group the submachine gun in exchange for £10,500 on April 15 2020.
Later that same day, Brazendale was involved in another delivery after Bilal Khan, 33, of Mersey Road, Didsbury, brokered and forwarded sale details to an unknown EncroChat user.
Riding a bicycle, Brazendale arrived at a convenience store car park in Thelwall, Warrington, and handed over an Uzi and Skorpion machine guns, a Taurus Brasil revolver and 300 rounds of ammunition to courier Hitesh Patel, 27, in exchange for £37,000.
But the NCA became aware of the plot as a direct result of the penetration of the EncroChat phone network.
After getting hold of the AK47, arrogant gangsters Khan and Zaheer both posed for pictures holding it.
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On EncroChat, Khan told another user: "This ting gives me a hard on.
"This is the daddy. I feel like my d*** works. No lie best ting I’ve seen."
The men all pleaded guilty to charges which arose from Operation Venetic – the UK law enforcement response to the takedown of encrypted communications platform EncroChat which is where certain criminal groups communicate with one another.
Yesterday Zaheer was sentenced to 25 years in prison; Khan to 10 years and eight months; Patel to seven years and five months; Brazendale to 11 years and three months; Moore to 11 years and five months; Waring to eight years and seven months; and Coleman to six years and nine months.
On Friday senior detectives welcomed the long prison sentences handed down to Brazendale and his associates.
Neil Gardner, NCA operations manager, said: “The weapons we took off the street and out of the crime groups’ hands were some of the most lethal around with a truly devastating capability.
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“In seizing these weapons which are capable of firing multiple rounds per second, we have saved lives and protected the public.
“The offenders thought they were safe using encrypted comms, but working with the Crown Prosecution Service and Greater Manchester Police, we built a solid case that resulted in the men admitting their involvement.
“We will continue to do everything we can with partners at home and abroad to prevent organised crime groups trafficking firearms.”
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