Police have uncovered a huge illegal gun factory in a British market town.
National Crime Agency officers discovered a “large-scale” operation in a warehouse in Hailsham, East Sussex.
The reported gun factory was in a warehouse on an industrial estate in Diplocks Way which was said to be masquerading as a gearbox repair business.
Officers found three men leaving the site and were forced to taser one of the suspects on Saturday, two handguns and ammunition were found.
NCA officers heard “loud bangs consistent with gunshots” from the so-called garage repair unit, before making the arrests.
Head of the NCA’s firearms threat centre Rob Hickinbottom, said:
“Our investigation is continuing, and much of what we have discovered at this location will now be the subject of careful forensic analysis.
We suspect that this operation has disrupted a group that would appear to be involved in the criminal production of firearms. As a result, we have prevented a potentially large quantity of weapons from getting onto the black market and into the hands of criminals.”
Officers have found what they suspect to be “machinery and components used in the criminal manufacture of firearms and ammunition”.
This is said to include a number of handguns in various stages of production, and templates and metal for use in their fabrication.
The site has been cordoned off while investigations continue.
Greg Akehurst, 29, of no fixed address, and Mark Kinman, 63, of Bramwell Mews, Hailsham, were both charged with possessing a firearm.
Kyle Wood, 30, of Gratwicke Drive, Littlehampton, was charged with the same offence as well as possessing ammunition.
The three men were remanded in custody and are due to appear at Kingston Crown Court on September 17.
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