BRITAIN’S ‘FBI agency’ is bracing for an influx of deadly automatic weapons spilling out from the war in Ukraine.
Officials fear some of the 100,000 rifles handed out on the streets of the war torn nation will be smuggled across borders and eventually into the UK by gangsters.
The alarm bells come after a spate of shootings in the North West and other violent crimes across the nation this summer.
An NCA source warned they would be “foolish to assume that with the Ukrainian government, giving our 100,000 automatic weapons, every single one of them would remain in Ukraine.”
They added: “As with any conflict, weaponry can leak out of the sides, be that through trophies, or deliberate movements by organised crime or other groups
“Therefore, while we had not seen it as yet, we were alive to the fact that weapons could start to ‘leak’ out of the conflict zone into Europe and the UK as they did in the Balkans War.”
The Balkan wars – after the split of former Yugoslavia left large stockpiles of deadly weapons in the hands of militias,civilians and gangsters.
Crime gangs and terrorists have since abused the cache for their illicit means.
It comes weeks after a report in Border Force revealed that officers tasked with finding smuggled weapons were being diverted from ports to deal with the small boat crisis.
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The Alexander Downer report said last month that crossings “now consumes nearly all available resource” at the organisation,
He added: A further frustration is that to sustain the Border Force operation in the English Channel, officers from elsewhere are being drafted into the maritime command which detracts from other important activities that should be undertaken at ports across the country.”
A Home Office spokesperson said: “Maintaining safety and security of the public is of the utmost importance. Every year, hundreds of firearms are seized at the UK border and help keep the country safe.
“Border Force has a range of options to supplement its permanent workforce to help respond to pressures.
“Through intelligence and data, resources are deployed and prepared dynamically to meet any emerging threats. We work closely with law enforcement partners in the UK as well as overseas, including the NCA to ensure border security is our top priority.”