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Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Ammunition used in a Mafia-style hit was traced by cops back to the barracks of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

Ammunition used in a Mafia-style hit was traced by cops back to the barracks of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.
Bullet stolen from a Scots Army unit was used in a brutal gangland killing, the Record can reveal.
Cops ordered a raid on the battalion HQ after tracing the origin of a bullet taken from a murder victim's body.The Record revealed yesterday how cops smashed a major weapons-dealing ring in a joint raid with Kent Police at Howe Barracks in Canterbury, Kent, which led to soldiers being arrested for allegedly selling bullets and grenades.An Army insider said: "This thing's massive and will cause huge embarrassment for the Army top brass."It's all connected with the Scottish gangsters and civilian shootings committed using Army ammunition."I've heard that murders have been linked to the investigation - it's going that far. The security implications are massive."Each bullet has its own individual markings and can be traced back to source very easily."The police are talking about it being huge and are taking it very seriously. That was obvious by the number of officers used in the raids on Friday."The source said rank and file soldiers have been horrified by the arrests.He said: "The reaction amongst the regiment is one of complete shock. The senior hierarchy are furious that the name of the regiment has been dragged through the mud."The Record can also reveal today that lethal plastic explosives were allegedly found in the locker of a colour sergeant, one rank down from a sergeant major, during the bust.The colour sergeant, Garry Graham, 36, from Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, and Sergeant Kieran Campbell, 27, from Glasgow, who were arrested at the barracks, appeared at Folk estone Magistrates' Court yesterday.They are accused of shipping guns and grenades.Both were charged with possessing explosives for an unlawful purpose but made no pleas and spoke only to confirm their names.They were remanded in custody until their crown court trial, which is yet to be fixed.A civilian at the barracks, where Graham and Campbell were based, has been questioned by Kent Police about stealing munitions. She has been bailed until April 2.It is understood all three were questioned under the Terrorism Act before appearing at court.
Graham is a former sergeant major from the Royal Highland Fusiliers who was demoted to colour sergeant and moved to the Argylls last year after having an ASBO slapped on him when he was involved in a street fight.The two soldiers arrested in the ammo-dealing scandal head up the battalion's crack Reconnaissance Platoon, who deal closely with Army intelligence.They are in charge of monitoring ammunition during training exercises and have regular contact with the armoury.Last night, three separate sources told the Record how the cops had linked the soldiers to the ammo ring after tracing a bullet from a murder victim.One source said: "The bomb squad swooped on their homes and the sergeants' mess at four o'clock in the morning, they weren't taking any prisoners. It was an operation planned with military precision.
"They knew who and what they were looking for and they had names of everyone involved."The gangsters used the stolen bullets in a hit job and the cops traced the bullet from the body back to the barracks."A 9mm pistol was also found when the guys were arrested but I would think that didn't come from the barracks as guns are monitored very closely."The Argylls, the 5th Battalion of The Royal Regiment of Scotland, are preparing to deploy to Afghanistan.



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