Prisoner, 55, in custody ahead of a trial accused of organising firearms to be dumped and their location leaked to the police in a dodgy trade for a reduced sentence

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Prisoner, 55, in custody ahead of a trial accused of organising firearms to be dumped and their location leaked to the police in a dodgy trade for a reduced sentence

A serving prisoner has been accused of organising firearms to be dumped and their location leaked to the police in a dodgy trade for a reduced sentenc

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A serving prisoner has been accused of organising firearms to be dumped and their location leaked to the police in a dodgy trade for a reduced sentence.

Irish national Thomas Kavanagh, 55, is said to have orchestrated the drop while awaiting trial at the Old Bailey, and allegedly attempted to use weapons’ location as a bartering chip to bargain with the National Crime Agency.

The drop allegedly included modified guns and bullets, and was planned while he was remanded in custody awaiting another trial.

His alleged co-conspirator, Shaun Alexander Kent, 38, stands accused of aiding encrypted online chat EncroChat from his cell to organise the firearms drop, the usernames ‘Marco Scafu’ and ‘Firm Cleaner.’

Both appeared via videolink from jail.

Kavanagh and Kent are charged with conspiring to possess a firearm without a certificate, conspiring to possess ammunition for a firearm without a certificate.

Both are also accused of conspiring to possess prohibited ammunition, noted as ‘dum dum bullets’ by Magistrate Michael Snow, design to expand on impact.

They are also accused of conspiring to possess a prohibited weapon that Mr Snow noted had been adapted to allow continuous shots to be fired with one press on the trigger.

Thomas Kavanagh, 55, is accused of orchestrating a drop while awaiting trial at the Old Bailey, and allegedly attempted to use weapons' location to bargain with the National Crime Agency for a reduced sentence

Thomas Kavanagh, 55, is accused of orchestrating a drop while awaiting trial at the Old Bailey, and allegedly attempted to use weapons’ location to bargain with the National Crime Agency for a reduced sentence

Kavanagh has been charged with conspiring to possess a firearm without a certificate, conspiring to possess ammunition for a firearm without a certificate. He is currently awaiting trial at the Old Bailey

Kavanagh has been charged with conspiring to possess a firearm without a certificate, conspiring to possess ammunition for a firearm without a certificate. He is currently awaiting trial at the Old Bailey 

The duo are further charged with conspiring to pervert the course of justice, referring to the alleged to reduce Kavanagh’s sentence.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court was told that between January 9 and June 3, 2021, while awaiting trial at the Central Criminal Court they conspired together with other persons unknown to do a series of acts namely to possess the firearms and seek to hide them in order to receive a reduced sentence.

Kavanagh’s lawyer, Rosa Bennathan, attempted to have a reporting restriction passed banning mention of the conspiring to pervert the course of justice charge.

The request, initially made under Section 11 of the Contempt of Court Act, was later rescinded after Magistrate Michael Snow warned it was unusual to block a charge being read into the public record.

Two further charges are that he was in possession of a firearm and ammunition without a certificate.

Kent appeared on video link and spoke only to confirm that he could hear the proceedings. Kavanagh did not speak.

They are next due to appear at at the Old Bailey on September 5.

Kent is expected to plead not guilty, arguing that the EncroChat names have not been proven to be attributed to him.

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