From a Czech warehouse to a street near you: the journey of a gun
On the outskirts of Hlučín, beside a sports bar and pizza joint, is a two-storey warehouse increasingly familiar to British criminals and police. Here, a short stroll from the rolling farmland of the eastern Czech Republic, is the portentously titled Bullet Project, owned by the local weapons supplier Balistas.
Visitors to the business’s website can acquire weaponry from crossbows to high-spec air rifles. The Zoraki automatic handgun, which can fire eight bullets a second, is proving popular with Britons.
In May 2017 Balistas sent a consignment of Zorakis by “fast parcel” courier to an address near the A421, south of Bedford. There, in a suburban garden shed, the blank-firing guns were converted to deadly weapons and sold to underworld figures.
“You don’t need to be wholly sophisticated to do this, that’s the risk. This is clearly an evolution and we are constantly having to deal with the threat that these guns pose.”