Jailed: Man from Harlesden found with a loaded gun at Aldgate East Underground station
- Credit: Archant
A man has been sentenced to five years in prison after officers caught him carrying a loaded gun on the London Underground.
Idris Ali, from Mordaunt Road in Harlesden, told police the firearm was a gift after he was stopped by officers at Aldgate East underground station in April.
Det Cons 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."
Ali had pretended to buy a ticket in a bid to avoid a Met police patrol, but the 21-year old was stopped after his behaviour caught the officers' attention.
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He smelt of cannabis and admitted having the drug in his bag so was stopped and searched under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
Ali told officers he felt sick and was going to have to sit down. Seconds later officers discovered the loaded handgun wrapped in a grey cloth with loose ammunition alongside a hard hat and high visibility jacket.
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He was handcuffed and cautioned, initially claiming he found the gun, before saying he'd bought it thinking it was memorabilia. In his police interview, he claimed it was a gift.
BTP firearms officers made the gun safe, and Ali was taken into custody.
Det Cons Max Wilson said: "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's Insp Pete Day added: "This was a fantastic stop by our colleagues at the Metropolitan Police, and a result of brilliant co-ordinated work between ourselves, the City of London Police, and the Ministry of Defence Police.
"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."
Ali was found guilty of possessing a firearm at Blackfriars Crown Court on Thursday, October 17. He also pleaded guilty to possessing a class B drug.