A man has been jailed for five years for carrying a loaded gun on the London Underground.
Idris Ali, 21, of Brent, was found guilty of possessing a firearm and he also pleaded guilty to possessing a class B drug at Blackfrairs Crown Court on Thursday.
He was caught by specially-trained officers at Aldgate East station working on Project Servator, a Metropolitan Police operation to deter criminal activity.
On April 24, police noticed Ali behaving abnormally and he was stopped by a plain clothes officer who could smell cannabis on him.
After admitting to having cannabis in his bag, officers discovered the loaded handgun wrapped in a grey cloth along with some loose ammunition.
Ali was immediately handcuffed and cautioned.
Initially he claimed he had found the gun, before stating he’d bought it believing it to be memorabilia. In his police interview, he claimed it was a gift.
British Transport Police firearms officers attended and made the gun safe while Ali was taken into custody.
Detective Constable Max Wilson from British Transport Police said: “Ali did his best to make excuses, but carrying a loaded gun on the rail network is completely unjustifiable.
“Not only was the gun loaded, it was accompanied by further ammunition. The seizure of this dangerous weapon, and the success of the investigation, could well have saved lives. I hope his significant custodial sentence sends a strong and clear message to anyone thinking of using the transport system to move weapons and conduct criminal activity.”
Project Servator Inspector Pete Day said the arrest and subsequent conviction had been a successful joint operation between the Metropolitan Police, City of London Police, and the Ministry of Defence Police.
He said those working on Project Servator will “pop up anywhere, at any time” to detain “individuals like Ali who would prefer to avoid us”.
He added: “The success of patrols like these also relies on the public being our eyes and ears too and letting us know if anything or anyone doesn’t feel right when they’re out and about. Please trust your instincts and text us discretely on 61016.”
Source: Standard UK