A haul of firearms has been seized in France from a car heading to the UK.
Seventy-nine “viable” weapons were recovered from the car’s trailer when it was stopped by UK Border Force officers at Coquelles near the Channel Tunnel terminal on Saturday.
Two men, a Polish and a Czech national, have been remanded in custody at Uxbridge magistrates’ court in connection with the operation.
The guns were concealed in specially-adapted engine blocks.
The seizure follows a joint operation by the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Metropolitan Police working with Border Force officials in France.
Graham Gardner, the NCA’s deputy director of investigations, said: “Our recent threat assessment highlights that handguns are still commonly favoured by some criminal groups in the UK.
“They may not be the largest firearm, but they are easily concealable and lethal in the hands of anyone prepared to use them.”
Denis Kolencukov, 23, originally from the Czech Republic but living in the UK, and Polish national Janusz Michek, 59, are each charged with two firearms offences.
No further action will be taken against six other Polish nationals arrested in Coquelles.