Million-volt stun guns escape Border Agency detection
London criminals are turning to stun guns imported via internet for as little as £60
THE UK Border Agency came under fire today after it emerged that criminals are arming themselves with illegal stun guns easily imported from overseas.
The weapons are illegal to import into the UK, but BBC journalists managed to buy two from Germany via mail order for as little as £60 each.
At one million volts, one of the guns is 20 times more powerful than the 50,000-volt Taser weapons carried by police.
Eran Bauer, of Civil Defence Supply - which supplies Tasers to the UK police - described it as "one heck of a brute". After seeing it fired, he said it could burn skin, cause nerve damage and even end up killing someone.
Figures requested under the Freedom of Information Act showed that, in the last three years, police have seized 500 stun guns on the streets of London and investigated more than 200 crimes involving the weapon.
Stun guns have been used in incidents of assault and GBH, as well as in robberies and muggings.
Keith Vaz, Labour MP for Leicester East and chairman or the Home Affairs Select Committee, said that action must be taken to find out what has gone wrong. He says he will raise the matter with the head of the Border Agency and the Home Secretary.
"How is it possible for someone to go online and get a gun into this country through what we are told is one of the most sophisticated borders in the world?" he asked.
The UKBA insists it is tackling the problem but was unable to say how many stun guns it had seized since 2009 – an admission that Labour has described as "worrying". A spokesman for UKBA insists the statistics for later years are "in the verification process".
The agency also released a statement to say it was working with Revenue and Customs and police "to target importation of illegal weapons, and those who seek to bring weapons into the country".
Possessing a stun gun carries a maximum jail sentence of 10 years.