A gangster who bought an AK47 said the deadly weapon made him ‘ready for warfare’.
Bilal Khan, 33, is one of seven men being sentenced after the hacking of the highly secretive EncroChat network gave law enforcement an unparalleled window into the criminal underworld.
A plot to ‘hit back’ as part of a power struggle after shooting in Salford, plots to purchase terrifying weapons including an AK47 and an Uzi sub machine gun, as well as large scale drug dealing were laid bare.
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Two guns were found dug up in a back garden as part of the investigation.
Khan, known as ‘Legend killer’ on the EncroChat network, told of his ‘excitement’ at the prospect of getting hold of deadly weapons.
Khan said: “I’m gonna be ready for warfare.”
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The seven defendants are due to be sentenced tomorrow.
Chilling messages which detailed a plot to ‘hit back’ after Brandon Moore, 24, and Jordan Waring, 23, had both been shot in Kersal were revealed.
Waring said they had ‘drove’ at the gunman and the pair were both shot, Moore to the arm and Waring to the back.
Waring and Moore had discharged themselves from hospital, even after suffering serious injuries. Moore faced the potential risk of having his arm amputated, Manchester Crown Court heard.
They sought the help of gun runner Umair Zaheer, known as ‘Assassin’s creed’ on EncroChat, to get hold of a weapon as they hunted down the gunman.
Zaheer, 34, from Eccles, said they would ‘do him’ when they found where he was, adding: “This kids f***** now.”
“Oh yea he is a dead man,” Waring replied.
Zaheer sent Moore a list of firearms available for sale, including two AK47s and an Uzi.
“Yeah nice bro this kid needs it,” Moore replied.
Zaheer said: “He will get bro just let him get comfortable a bit we will sneak up on him.”
The plot ultimately came to nothing, with Waring going back to hospital for further treatment and being detained by police in April 2020, and Moore being arrested.
Zaheer was also involved in a gun running plot with ‘close ally’ Khan.
Zaheer sent him a similar list of ‘unsparingly destructive’ firearms and ammunition for sale.
He had discussions with an unknown Encrochat user about which items he would buy.
“He said that he wished he had more money, in order to buy them all,” prosecutor Tim Storrie QC said.
Telling of his ‘excitement’, he said: “I’m gonna be ready for warfare.”
A £37,000 deal was agreed to buy an Uzi and Skorpion sub machine guns as well as a pistol.
Robert Brazendale, 34, who worked with Zaheer and acted as a courier and driver, handed over the guns in exchange for the cash which was delivered by a courier, Hitesh Patel.
Patel then drove to London, with the Uzi and Skorpion later being recovered by police hidden in a false wall within a cupboard at a house in Brent.
Khan also agreed to purchase an AK47, which he collected on the same occasion at a Tesco car park in Warrington.
He stored it in business premises in Warrington belonging to his uncle, the court heard.
After getting hold of the AK47, Khan and Zaheer both posed for pictures holding it.
On EncroChat, Khan told another user: “This ting gives me a hard on.
“This is the daddy.
“I feel like my d*** works.
“No lie best ting I’ve seen.”
About a week after the handover, police raided the premises in Warrington and found the AK47 hidden in a roof void.
The raid was the beginning of the end for Khan and Zaheer.
“Bro they found it,” Khan said in a message to Zaheer.
“Makes zero sense but NCA (National Crime Agency) have that AK,” he added.
Khan was arrested the day after, and police searched his home in Didsbury.
“I’ve done nothing wrong,” Zaheer told police when he was arrested the following day.
Brazendale, also was involved in the handover of an AK47 and ammunition in a separate £10,500 deal, was arrested a few days later.
He was later extradited from Spain back to the UK to face justice.
During a search of a house in Warrington linked to him, police dug up the back garden and discovered a loaded Smith & Wesson pistol, a Grand Power semi-automatic pistol and ammunition.
Zaheer, Moore and Waring, all of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to conspiring to possess firearms or ammunition with intent to endanger life.
Zaheer pleaded guilty to a separate conspiracy to possess firearms or ammunition with intent to endanger life, as did Khan, of Mersey Road, Didsbury, alongside another man, Patel, 27, of Garden Lane, Chester.
Brazendale, of Selworthy Drive, Warrington, admitted conspiring to transfer prohibited weapons.
Zaheer and another man, Lewis Coleman, 23, of Pendlecroft Avenue, Swinton also admitted drug offences, both pleading guilty to conspiring to supply cocaine.
Zaheer pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply cannabis, and Coleman pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply ketamine.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.