Dealers of death jailed

ARMS dealers who flouted licensing rules to set up transactions involving bombs and armour piercing rounds from Eastern Europe have been jailed for a total of 16 years. Gidon Sarig, 58, Lauderale Mansions, Lauderale Road, Maida Vale and Howard Freckleton

ARMS dealers who flouted licensing rules to set up transactions involving bombs and armour piercing rounds from Eastern Europe have been jailed for a total of 16 years.

Gidon Sarig, 58, Lauderale Mansions, Lauderale Road, Maida Vale and Howard Freckleton, 64, from Enfield, north London, set up 'deals of death and destruction' involving Sri Lanka, Serbia and Israel.

The two businessmen provided Sri Lankan military arms from Eastern Europe to use in their bloody war against the Tamil Tigers.

Sarig was also responsible for supplying Uzi submachine guns to Nigeria and pump-action shotguns to buyers in Burkina Faso and Israel, all without a license, Southwark Crown Court heard. Freckleton used long-standing contacts with the Sri Lankan armed forces to broker the lucrative deals - including �1m worth of bombs, which Sarig sourced in the Ukraine.


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Sarig was jailed for nine years and Freckleton for seven for supplying controlled goods with intent to evade prohibition.

Judge James Wadsworth told them: "You both knew exactly what you were doing, and each of you exercised what is your undoubted right to fight this case to the full.

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"But by doing that, you have, of course, removed from me the opportunity of giving you any proper credit in your sentence as a result of regret, remorse or even acceptance of your guilt."

Freckleton had contacts with the Sri Lankan army through his Lyon Brandfield company, while Sarig, who operated as MIA Trading knew suppliers in Serbia, Montenegro and the Ukraine.

Between them, the pair supplied the Sri Lankans with 3,900 rounds of 30mm armour piercing incendiary ammunition, 1,000 FAB 2450 M62 Bombs, which can be dropped from planes or used to attack helicopters.

On a third occasion, Freckleton supplied the Sri Lankans with 2,500 armour piercing incendiary ball rounds and 2,500 tracer ball rounds with 'disintegrating crab-type links.'

The court heard the pair 'pooled their resources' to supply bombs and high-powered ammunition in three deals with Sri Lanka between February 15, 2005 and November 7, 2007.

Peter Millroy, head of HM Revenue & Customs' specialist unit on military exports, said: "These were flagrant breaches of UK trade controls on the supply of military equipment between these countries, some of which were areas of armed conflict and others of which were close to such areas.

"Gideon Sarig and Howard Freckleton were both arms brokers who committed a series of offences in pursuit of the enormous profits to be made and today's result reflects the gravity of the criminal activity they were engaged in.

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