Gun-running boat up for sale in Belfast

Wilson's Auctions undated handout photo of the Albernina motor cruiser, used in Britain's biggest-known gun smuggling operation, which is to be auctioned in Belfast on Thursday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday August 24, 2016. The cruiser arrived with the deadly cargo of �100,000 worth of arms near Cuxton Marina, outside Rochester in Kent, on August 10 last year. See PA story ULSTER Guns. Photo credit should read: Wilson's Auctions /PA Wire

NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Wilson's Auctions undated handout photo of the Albernina motor cruiser, used in Britain's biggest-known gun smuggling operation, which is to be auctioned in Belfast on Thursday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday August 24, 2016. The cruiser arrived with the deadly cargo of �100,000 worth of arms near Cuxton Marina, outside Rochester in Kent, on August 10 last year. See PA story ULSTER Guns. Photo credit should read: Wilson's Auctions /PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

The boat used in Britain’s biggest-known gun smuggling operation is to be auctioned in Belfast today.

The Albernina motor cruiser arrived with the deadly cargo of £100,000 worth of arms near Cuxton Marina, outside Rochester in Kent, on August 10 last year.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) said the assault weapons seized were similar to those used in the terror attack on the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine’s Paris offices.

They were intercepted because the agency had the plotters under surveillance and swooped to seize the cache of 31 assault rifles and sub-machine guns before it could be buried and then passed into the wrong hands.

Two men were found guilty of gun smuggling and possessing firearms with intent to endanger life following a trial held at the Old Bailey earlier this year.

Wilson’s Auctions in Belfast will sell off the 38ft vessel.

The NCA hailed it as the biggest seizure of deadly guns on British soil. The gang had no connection with terrorism.

The mastermind behind the operation, Harry Shilling, bragged “we now officially gangsters” after 22 assault rifles and nine Skorpion sub-machine guns from eastern Europe sailed up the River Medway from Boulogne in France.

Shilling, 26, was handed a sentence of 30 years in jail, plus five years on extended licence, while Michael Defraine was given 27 years in jail, plus five years on extended licence.

The Albernina will go under the hammer alongside luxury yacht the Golem.

The 57ft Nordia sloop yacht was intercepted by Government officials on August 31 last year carrying almost a tonne of cocaine across the Atlantic from the southern Caribbean.