30 guns sold by Newport dealer still missing
12:20pm Friday 21st September 2012 in News
POLICE are searching for 30 guns sold by a crooked firearms dealer to pay off debts.
The guns were part of 320 shotguns and air rifles worth £1.5 million that belonged to other people sold by businessman Andrew Litt.
Gwent Police have recovered 290 and Litt is assisting police with their inquiries to locate those outstanding.
Litt was jailed for 32 months on Monday after admitting two counts of fraud as he battled to keep Newport-based DJ Litt Firearms afloat between 2004 and 2008.
The company, which had sites at the Maesglas Industrial Estate and Treetops, Newport, went bust in 2008, owing around £16 million.
Litt, 57, of Claremont, Newport, offered high rates of interest to investors – gaining loans totalling £57 million which he used to pay off other debts.
As well as this cash, he sold high-value guns which were kept by clients at his firing ranges and on his premises.
Among the biggest losers in this was Richard Chilton, with Litt selling eight shotguns belonging to him, worth £297,000.
At Cardiff Crown Court on Monday, prosecutor Cameron Brown said: “He disposed of a number of firearms that clients entrusted to him with the clear intention of returning these to them. Overwhelming financial problems, however, made this totally unrealistic.”
As Litt struggled to pay off creditors, he ran up more debt and indulged in more fraudulent activity, with things ending in administration in 2008.
The court heard that Litt was helping Gwent Police with enquiries before he was jailed on Monday and helped them locate and retrieve 290 of the guns he sold.