Two men have been jailed for five years after they were caught transporting guns following a handover in a golf club car park.
Police Scotland received intelligence that Mark Kirkby, 38, would be involved in transferring firearms in the car park of Ardeer Golf Club in Stevenston, North Ayrshire, on September 1 last year.
Officers launched a surveillance operation and watched as Ku Wing Kwok, 42, arrived in a car at 4.24pm, before another car, with Kirkby in the front passenger seat, arrived at 4.58pm and parked next to Kwok’s vehicle.
Kirkby opened the boot of Kwok’s car and emptied the contents of a drawstring bag and both cars then left in different directions, the Crown Office said.
Police pulled Kwok over as he headed towards Greenock, Inverclyde, on the A78. When officers searched the car they found five replica pistols which had been modified to shoot live ammunition, along with two boxes of 9mm bullets.
Later that evening Kirkby’s home in Stevenston was searched, and six mobile phones and £2,970 in cash was found.
Kirkby and Kwok pleaded guilty to possessing illegal firearms and ammunition without a licence when they appeared at the High Court in Glasgow on March 1.
They were both jailed for five years when they were sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh on Thursday, the Crown Office said.
David Green, procurator fiscal for major crime, said: “The possession of illegal and potentially deadly firearms is extremely dangerous and poses real harm to the community.
“Removing these guns from the streets goes some way towards removing that harm.
“Police and prosecutors will continue to work together to do everything in our power to keep firearms off the streets.”