- Gurtej Randhawa tried to buy a remote-control bomb online. The UK National Crime Agency intercepted his order in May. They replaced it with a fake, then arrested him. He now faces life in prison.
- National Crime Agency
A 19-year-old tried to buy a car bomb on the dark web, but police intercepted his order and gave him a dummy instead.
Gurtej Randhawa, from Wolverhampton in the West Midlands, tried to buy a remote-controlled explosive and planned to kill people with it.
Randhawa admitted the attempt in court this week, and now faces life in prison.
According to a press release from the UK National Crime Agency, its officers noticed Randhawa’s attempts to order the package earlier this year.
They did not disclose his motive, but said it was not linked to terrorism.
Randhawa made the purchase via the dark web, a difficult-to-navigate network of sites which is inaccessible without special software.
It is often used by criminals to trade in illicit goods.
Police said the device, which could be fixed to a car and detonated from a distance, “had the potential to cause serious damage and kill many people.”
However, officers intercepted the package and replaced it with an inert dummy device, which they allowed to be delivered to Randhawa in May.
They watched him testing the dud, at which point they arrested him.
Randhawa pleaded guilty to trying to illegally import explosives, and was found guilty of possessing explosives “with intent to endanger life” after a trial at Birmingham Crown Court.
He will be sentenced at a later hearing on January 12, where he could be given life in prison.