A Czech man has been sentenced to five years in prison for bringing several illegal firearms into the UK.
59 year old Jaromir Hrbek, from he Czech Republic, was stopped by the UK Border Force in August as he drove through the port of Dover to board a ferry back to Europe. A member of the Border Force spotted a loaded pistol magazine in the driver’s side door well and called the police.
Hrbek’s van, a Peugeot Expert, was searched and a cache of weapons were found hidden in the vehicle. The UK’s National Crime Agency reported that police found “a veritable arsenal” including:
“found ammunition including 50 9mm Luger cartridges, a bow with arrows, five knives including one 12 inches long, a machete, 50 .22 cartridges, a knuckle duster and a loaded Walther PPQ pistol wrapped in a paper bag and hidden in the vehicle’s frame work.”
Hrbek, a music teacher by profession, was apparently a Walther fan as a second pistol, a loaded Walther PPK, was found hidden inside the back of the van’s passenger seat.
When questioned Hrbek claimed to have been visiting his daughter in Scotland and had forgotten the weapons were hidden in his van. He explained that he’d been going through a divorce which led his life to be “a bit chaotic” and that he’d left his license for the pistol in the Czech Republic.
When interviewed by police Hrbek refused to answer further questions and was charged. On 27 September he appeared in court and pleaded guilty to possession of firearms and offensive weapons. He was sentenced to five years in prison with judge Simon James saying: “Whatever your personal intentions, your actions gave rise to a very real potential that the weapons could fall into the hands of criminals.”