A 19 year-old man from Wolverhampton has been found guilty of attempting to import explosives on the dark web with intent to endanger life after an investigation led by the National Crime Agency’s Armed Operations Unit (AOU).
Gurtej Randhawa of Grove Lane, Wightwick was arrested in May after he took delivery of a package he thought was a remote-detonated explosive device.
Intelligence indicated Randhawa had attempted to purchase a Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) from the dark web. NCA officers replaced the package with an inert dummy device, before allowing it to be delivered to the address provided by Randhawa.
Officers observed Randhawa testing the device and arrested him on suspicion of attempting to possess an explosive substance with intent to cause an explosion likely to endanger life.
Two women – aged 45 and 18 – were arrested at the same time but have since been released with no further action.
He had previously pleaded guilty to attempting to import explosives and was found guilty yesterday of maliciously possessing an explosive substance with intent to endanger life or cause serious injury at Birmingham Crown Court.
He has been remanded in custody and will be sentenced on 12 January 2018.
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.
“Identifying people like Randhawa – who seek to access illegal firearms and weapons – is a priority for the NCA and we will not stop in our efforts to make sure they are arrested and held accountable for their actions.”