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Indian-origin physiotherapist gets 14-year jail for supplying guns to gangs in UK

He acted as a middleman in a complex network which saw weapons supplied to a crime gang’s chief armourer

world Updated: Feb 02, 2018 23:51 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Indians abroad,Indians in London,Mohinder Surdhar
Mohinder Surdhar(West Midlands Police)

Mohinder Surdhar, a Birmingham-based physiotherapist who played the role of a middleman in the sale of prohibited weapons and ammunition between an arms supplier and criminal gangs, was jailed for 14 years at the Birmingham crown court this week.

Surdhar, 57, and the arms supplier, Paul Edmunds, 65, were an unlikely duo supplying guns and ammunition that the police linked to more than 100 crimes around the United Kingdom. Edmunds was sentenced in December to 30 years in jail.

Edmunds, a registered firearms dealer from Gloucester, used his knowledge and role to source, purchase, import and then supply prohibited guns and ammunition to Surdhar, who then sold them on to the criminal underworld, law officers said.

The crown prosecution service (CPS) said: “The weapons and ammunition have been directly linked to crimes across nine police forces, including murders, attempted murders and the 2011 Birmingham riots when shots were fired at the West Midlands Police helicopter.”

“The sole benefit for both men was money. The prosecution proved in the trial that Edmunds had unexplained deposits of more than £350,000”.

Edmunds was found to have imported huge quantities of antique and other firearms from the United States over a six-year period and was also responsible for manufacturing specialist ammunition to fit the handguns.

Following his arrest, the police discovered Edmunds had also falsified entries in his firearms register and damaged tools which he had used to make the ammunition. This was in an attempt to remove unique markings to frustrate later scientific examination.

Warren Stanier of the CPS said: “These two men used their expertise to exploit the illicit firearms market for financial gain and in doing so put the lives of the general public and police in danger”.

“We work with colleagues in the criminal justice system to identify and robustly pursue those involved throughout the supply chain for illegal firearms. The removal of Edmunds and Surdhar from that supply chain has reduced criminals’ opportunity to source firearms and use them in further serious crimes.”

First Published: Feb 02, 2018 22:08 IST