Birmingham gun supplier jailed for making weapons on a 3D printer

Failed businessman Haroon Iqbal from Bordesley Green was caught importing parts from the USA

A gun supplier who made weapons on a 3D PRINTER using parts ordered from the dark web has been jailed for 27 months.

Failed businessman Haroon Iqbal, 32, was caught attempting to import parts of a Glock 17 from the USA in order to build the firearm "piece by piece."

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But a court heard one of the packages was intercepted by US Homeland Security agents and his seller was arrested.

An undercover officer continued to pose as Iqbal’s contact on the encrypted messaging service Signal until he placed a second order.

What did Iqbal order?

Iqbal, of Bordersley Green, requested a Glock 17 barrel and automatic rifle parts and asked that the parts were hidden inside a toolbox.

A decoy package was then shipped from the US to an address in Birmingham where Iqbal was arrested by National Crime Agency (NCA) officers on February 28.

Iqbal pleaded guilty to attempting to possess a firearm on April 27 at Birmingham Crown Court and was jailed at the same court today (Thursday May 26).

Judge Martin Hurst told him: "This was a sophisticated use of a 3D printer and a sophisticated disguise you applied in order to have the items imported."

Birmingham gun supplier Haroon Iqbal

What else was the court told about Iqbal’s crimes?

The court was told Iqbal had set up a printing business which had failed during the Covid pandemic and had got into significant debt.

He first requested internal parts of the Glock, ordering it to arrive within a cover load of electronics before it was intercepted on its arrival in the UK on January 22.

Although the items weren’t illegal on their own, they were forensically marked by NCA officers to ensure they could be identified.

When Iqbal collected them from an address in Birmingham on January 24, NCA investigators were watching, and the parts were recovered when Iqbal was arrested.

Shortly after dispatching the first order, the seller was arrested by US Homeland Security agents, and his phone seized.

Messages found Iqbal had requested that a Christmas card was added to the package as a decoy in order to make it look legitimate.

Part of a gun found in the possession of Haroon Iqbal from Bordesley Green, Birmingham

Iqbal had also instructed “just make sure it doesn’t look suspicious, no glaringly obvious gun parts visible as soon as you open.”

He later gave information to the undercover officer on how to package the second load, saying: “Show the decoy and the parts that u need to put in. We’ll advise how to pack.”

When sent a photo of the shipping label he said: “Bro are you feeling ok, who’s going to pay 65 to ship a 1 dollar item.

"Are you for real… now they’re definitely going to open it!”

Iqbal also provided a UK phone number for the package, texting: “The UK number you put on there… you should’ve asked me for one.

"If you don’t know something ask us what to put there, why are you making your own s**t up!

"I hope you haven’t posted this yet. You’re going to blow a good address if you have.”

The phone with the number used on the parcel was found in his car, and officers seized a 3D printer and an ammunition press from his business premises.

Officers also found the internal parts first sent to Iqbal in January which had the forensic markings.

Pistol parts recovered from first parcel during investigations in to Birmingham gun supplier Haroon Iqbal

What has the National Crime Agency said about this case?

NCA operations manager Niall Conner said after the case: “Haroon Iqbal spoke with supreme confidence to someone he thought was a seasoned gun supplier in the US, giving detailed instructions to ensure he would receive the orders to the UK.

"His plans were stopped when US authorities arrested his contact and took over communication with Iqbal as he sought to arrange another delivery.

“Our investigation has taken items including gun parts and a 3D printer out of circulation, which could have been used to create deadly weapons for use by organised crime groups.

“The supply and use of firearms has a devastating impact on public safety and are used in acts of intimidation and serious violence.

"We will continue our work to stop those who are intent on bringing illegal firearms to our streets.”

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