Indian-origin teenager faces jail for buying explosives in the UK
The explosive device Gurtej Randhawa sought to purchase online had the potential to cause serious damage and kill many peopleworld Updated: Nov 09, 2017 08:56 IST
An Indian-origin teenager has pleaded guilty to trying to import explosives from the dark web with intent to endanger life, Britain’s National Crime Agency said on Wednesday.
Wolverhampton-based Gurtej Randhawa, 19, was arrested in May 2017, after he took delivery of a package he thought was a remote-detonated explosive device.
Intelligence had previously indicated that he had attempted to purchase a Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device from the dark web, the hidden cyberspace which is the virtual equivalent of a black market in the real world.
NCA officers replaced the package with an inert dummy device, before allowing it to be delivered to the address that Randhawa had provided.
Officers observed him testing the device and arrested him.
Previously, Randhawa had pleaded guilty to an attempt to import explosives.
On Tuesday, he was found guilty of maliciously possessing an explosive substance with intent to endanger life or cause serious injury at Birmingham Crown Court.
He was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on January 12.
Tim Gregory, from the NCA’s Armed Operations Unit, said: “The explosive device Randhawa sought to purchase online had the potential to cause serious damage and kill many people if he had been successful in using it.”
“He was not involved in an organised crime group or linked to terrorism, but is clearly an individual who poses a significant risk to the community,” he added. Two women – aged 45 and 18 – were also arrested at the time, but have since been released with no further action.