12 January 2018
A 19 year-old man from Wolverhampton has been jailed for eight years after he tried to import explosives from the dark web in an attempt to kill his parents.
Gurtej Randhawa of Grove Lane, Wightwick was arrested by officers from the National Crime Agency’s Armed Operations Unit (AOU) in May 2017, 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) – or a car bomb - with the intent to take the life of his parents, after his mother discovered he was having a relationship with a girl she disapproved of.
Fearing his parents would try to end his relationship, Randhawa embarked on a plan that he believed would enable them to stay together.But officers replaced the package with a safe dummy device before allowing it to be delivered to the address he had provided when ordering the explosives. They then watched as Randhawa tested the device and arrested him shortly afterwards.
Two women – aged 45 and 18 – were arrested at the same time but have since been released with no further action.
Randhawa pleaded guilty to attempting to import explosives in July 2017 and was found guilty at Birmingham Crown Court in November 2017 of maliciously possessing an explosive substance with intent to endanger life or cause serious injury.
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 his actions show he is someone 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”.
Andy Young, from the CPS International Justice and Organised Crime Division, said:
“Gurtej Randhawa attempted to purchase explosives which could have resulted in deaths or serious injuries had they been used.
“He denied he planned to use the explosives to cause injury but the CPS demonstrated to the jury that this was a lie and Randhawa was observed attempting to test his device before being arrested.
“Randhawa had used the dark web in an attempt to avoid detection but instead he is now serving a significant prison sentence.”