A fugitive Mohammed Humza, 29, of Watford, who once stole a Saudi Sheikh’s Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe and failed to turn up for his old Bailey trail in October after being suspected of fleeing to Pakistani Kashmir has been sentenced to prison for trying to buy grenades.
He was sentenced to five years after trying to buy grenades from an FBI agent on the dark web.
The court found him guilty of attempting to possess an explosive substance for unlawful purposes, he was tried in his absence.
Ben Holt a government prosecutor told the court on Friday, that Humza remained at large and was still ‘very much wanted’.
Humza, was being watched by British and American security operatives as he went through the internet looking for explosives.
Humza attempted to buy the grenades on defunct dark web market, Alphabay, an FBI agent (dubbed ‘Peter Agent’ posed as a munitions vendor and contacted Humza.
The dark web community largely believes that all weapon vendors are federal agents, and most people advise against buying munitions on the dark web.
Humza agreed to pay for one F1 grenade. He was expecting the grenade to arrive at his next door neighbour’s home.
In March 2017, Humza was jailed for four years for stealing a Sheikh Mohammed Alibrahim’s Phantom Coupe Rolls-Royce after filling out a DVLA form claiming he was the new owner of the vehicle.
Humza sold the vehicle for £27,500 alongside a BMW and a Mercedes. He then tried to repeat the same scam on a Ferrari, an Aston Martin and a Porsche 911.
One year later he began searching on the dark web for explosives.
The government prosecutor said the grenades Humza was attempting to buy were dangerous, he said that they could cause ‘indiscriminate harm’ if detonated and could be lethal to people standing nearby.
Humza was sentenced to five years in jail, Mrs Justice McGowan said the deal with the undercover FBI agent had been ‘doomed to fail’.
But she also said: ‘The fact is he tried to get that device and he did everything in his power to achieve that aim.’
The judge said:
‘There is spurious attraction to the dark web.
‘It was, certainly at the time about which the jury heard, surprisingly easy to gain access to the dark web. I accept that may now no longer be the position, nevertheless that would not stop people from trying.’
The FBI agent was posing as a munitions seller on dark web trading site AlphaBay in summer 2016, when Humza approached him under the name mh.nn243.
Humza sent a message to the FBI agent in July 2016, saying: ‘What’s the best price you can do for 2 grenades with postage to the UK?’
The FBI agent offered each grenade for $125 each, but he was able to get the price down to $115 by offering to buy four grenades. Then they discussed the price of delivery to Watford and Hertfordshire.
The court heard was told that Humza had previous convictions for fraud and theft, but no conviction terror-related offenses.
The judge said: ‘Mr Humza had wanted to obtain this device for the purposes of committing a serious crime.
‘It was clearly a device capable of highly significant harm or death. This is as it was described an anti-personal device. It is is built and designed to injure if not kill.
‘He is still 29 years of age and he is currently on the run which means he has left his wife and family, and so it is difficult to place too much weight on how much of an affect his incarceration would have on his family.’