The National Crime Agency has reported that two men involved in the handover of a firearm, which was recovered from a minicab in south east London, have been jailed.

Officers from the Organised Crime Partnership – a joint NCA and Metropolitan Police Service unit – investigated Mojtab Moradi, 37, from Plumstead and Robert Reading, 50, from Rochester.

The minicab Moradi was travelling in was stopped by OCP officers in Day’s Lane, Sidcup, in September 2022 with assistance from Met Police firearms officers. Prior to this, Moradi was seen walking from an alleyway near an Indian restaurant on Maidstone Road, Sidcup, carrying several large bags, including a Primark one, which he put in the boot.

Officers searched the vehicle and found a converted blank-firing .22inch calibre Rimfire double barrelled Derringer Pistol, wrapped in a tea towel, and eight rounds of ammunition in a toiletry-type bag in the Primark carrier.

DNA evidence proved that Reading has supplied the pistol to him. His vehicle was also seen in the same area before Moradi’s arrest. Moradi was also carrying 16 wraps of crack cocaine in his pockets. As he was arrested, two burner-style Nokia mobile phones fell from the side of the car where he had been sitting.

On the same day officers from Kent Police, on instructions from the OCP, raided Reading’s home in Wouldham and seized a Birmingham single barrel sawn off shotgun, which was found in the loft.

Moradi pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition and two counts of possession of class A drugs (cocaine) at Woolwich Crown Court on 3 October 2022.

Reading admitted two counts of possession of a firearm at Maidstone Crown Court in April last year.

Moradi was sentenced to five years imprisonment at Inner London Crown Court today (21 May), and Reading to six-and-a-half years imprisonment at the same court on 24 April this year.

Andrew Tickner, from the Organised Crime Partnership, said:

“Moradi and Reading were caught with deadly weapons which had the potential to inflict serious violence and instil fear on our streets.

“Such illegal firearms have no place in the UK and often end up in the hands of organised criminals, who use them to enforce their operations.

“We’re grateful for the assistance of Kent Police and remain committed to protecting the public by combating the supply of drugs and firearms into London and the South East.”

By Ed

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