Arbroath eBay businessman behind bars over weapon import charge

Dundee Sheriff Court
Dundee Sheriff Court

An eBay businessman who imported stun guns and 50 extendable batons through the auction site was today behind bars - after a sheriff blasted his “plan to sell them to others”.

Evaldas Vaicekauskas, who lives in Arbroath, is facing a lengthy jail term over the haul, which was discovered when Border Force officers intercepted a package from China that the Lithuanian national had bought on eBay.

But Vaicekauskas - who runs a business trading in mobile phone and tablet accessories online - won’t face a mandatory minimum five-year sentence over the stun gun haul as they only just miss the criteria.

Dundee Sheriff Court was shown one of the stun guns, which are hidden in torches.

The court was told that because the torch part is “fully functional as opposed to being a stun gun disguised as a torch” they are deemed to have a dual use, so don’t require a minimum jail term.

Vaicekauskas’s lawyer claimed the 23-year-old only bought the items because he “thought they looked cool” and denied he planned to sell them.

But a sheriff rubbished his explanation saying: “If that’s the case why did he buy 50 of the batons?”

Fiscal depute Eilidh Robertson told Dundee Sheriff Court: “On January 8, 2016 a package which had been sent from a business in China to the accused was intercepted by Border Force officials at their Coventry hub.

“The outside of the package described the contents as ‘tools’, but when the package was opened it was found to contain 50 extendable friction lock batons, each contained within their own holder.

“As a result of this seizure, search warrants were craved and granted for both the business and home addresses of the accused.

“Within his home address three stun guns were found.

“These were later examined by forensic scientists and found to be dual function stun guns and torches.

“The device consisted of a metal case which housed the electronic components and a removable battery compartment.

“A set of metal electrodes were integrated into the rim of the torch unit.

“All three were in good working order.

“He admitted both the possession of the stun guns and the ordering and importing of the batons.

“He stated that he bought the stun guns on eBay for £12 each.

“He said he bought them because he thought they were ‘cool’ and didn’t realise they were illegal.

“He was cautioned and charged and made no response.”

Vaicekauskas (23), of Fraser Path, Arbroath, pleaded guilty on indictment to being concerned in the importation of prohibited goods.

He also admitted a charge under the Firearms Act relating to the stun guns.

The offences took place at his home and at his business address in Thistle Street, Dundee.

Defence solicitor Lee Quimseh said: “My instructions are that there was no intention to sell.

“He simply purchased them because he thought they looked cool and no other reason.”

Sheriff Alastair Brown deferred sentence until next month for social work background reports and remanded Vaicekauskas in custody meantime.

He said: “It appears to me that ordering weapons from China is going out of one’s way to commit an offence.

“The only conceivable inference for importing 50 weapons is an intention to supply to other people.

“Those who import weapons with what appears to be a commercial motivation can expect no sympathy from this court.”