UK man illegally sold guns to Nigeria

An arms dealer has been convicted of helping to organise a “huge” shipment of guns and ammunition from China to Nigeria without a licence.

Gary Hyde, 43, from Newton on Derwent near York, was also convicted of concealing commission payments.

Southwark Crown Court heard how 40,000 AK-47 assault rifles, 30,000 rifles and 10,000 pistols, were shipped in 2007.

The former special constable is due to be sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on 23 November.

About 32 million rounds of ammunition was imported from China between March 2006 and December 2007.

Hyde failed to follow the necessary procedure and gain permission from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the court was told.

Hyde denied two counts of breaching the Trade in Goods (Control) Order 2003 and one charge of concealing criminal property, hiding more than $1m (£620,460) in commission payments.

Peter Millroy from HM Revenue and Customs 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 brought to justice.”

A trial held in January collapsed after the judge discharged the jury, saying the case had to “fail in law, on the particular facts of this case”.

Following the collapsed trial the Court of Appeal reviewed the case.

Hyde served as a special constable with North Yorkshire Police for seven years, before leaving in 2004.

The force said it believed none of the offences took place whilst he served as a special constable.