10/08/2010

Convictions Over London 'Pen Gun' Factory

Two men are this week facing sentencing for their involvement in the running of a homemade 'gun factory' in east London, where they produced weapons including two firearms disguised as a pen and a key ring.

Paul Coke, 40, of Mayesbrook Rd, Ilford, Essex and 26-year-old Fatmir Kadena, of 11 Flack Court, E10, were both found guilty of conspiracy to possess firearms and ammunition with intent to enable others to endanger life.

The pair worked out of two lock-ups in Leyton, which they passed off as a car repairs garage and makeshift nightclub.

Inside the first officers found an operation for converting imitation and blank-firing handguns into live firearms - which police believe they could have then sold on for up to £500 - £1000.

The arrest and conviction came after an intelligence-led operation by officers from the Metropolitan Police Operation, Trident. Detectives raided the premises at 147 Tilbury Road, which were located beneath a railway arch and secured by a re-enforced steel door in the early hours of May 11 last year.

Upon entering they discovered the venue was "awash with firearms", according to a police source today. Officers also found various firearm parts, as well as evidence of the modification or conversion of air weapons into fully functional firearms and modified ammunition.

Nine guns were recovered in total, including a Browning self-loading pistol, a Kimar Model 85 self-loading pistol, a British Bulldog brand revolver, an American Double Action brand revolver, and an air pistol that had the appearance of a handgun.

Inside an electricity box officers discovered modified and converted 8mm ammunition. Firearm parts and further ammunition were found inside drawers and a cupboard; and a 5,000 volt stun gun was recovered from the top drawer of a filing cabinet.

The "pen gun" was located inside a cardigan pocket and the "key-ring gun" had been hidden on a ceiling beam.

The court head that these everyday objects had been modified from their original form into "lethal-barrelled weapons" capable of firing ammunition.

Two Olympic '38 starting pistols in the process of being converted were also discovered in the loft area.

Speaking yesterday, DC Dan Bryant, Operation Trident said: "This was a highly organised operation whereby Coke and Kadena were converting and modifying firearms, doubtless with the sole intention of selling them on to those intent on committing serious crime.

"They were dangerous and ruthless individuals, content in the knowledge they were producing deadly weapons in order to line their own pockets and I am pleased that today's result reflects the danger their actions posed to the wider community.

"Operation Trident is committed to tackling all aspects of gun crime and will continue in its determination to bring those who profit from it to justice."

The two men are due to be sentenced today. Four others were acquitted of the same offence.

(DW/BMcC)

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