British arms dealer jailed over arms shipment to Nigeria
LONDON (AFP) – A British arms dealer who helped ship thousands of guns plus ammunition from China to Nigeria without a licence was jailed for seven years at a London court on Wednesday.
Gary Hyde, 43, was involved in the transfer of 40,000 AK47 assault rifles, 30,000 other rifles and 10,000 nine-millimetre pistols to the west African nation along with 32 million rounds of ammunition.
He was convicted on two counts of breaching British trade controls and concealing criminal property.
The deal between the Chinese and Nigerian governments was legal but Hyde moved the weapons without a licence and hid more than $1 million (750,000 euros) in commission payments.
Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith said the middleman was caught out by his own greed.
He failed to apply for a licence to take part in the deal, fearing it would be refused, but was attracted by the “enormous profits” to be made, the judge said.