London’s waterways were turned into a showroom for foreign countries looking to buy military vessels – as well as sniper rifle
Arms dealers showed off super-powered Bond villain-style speedboats for prospective buyers at an expo condemned by London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
Around a dozen military vessels, some bearing machine gun turrets were seen doing laps around London’s Docklands yesterday.
The Mirror spotted people aboard one boat taking camera phone photos of its weaponry and hardware.
And some were spotted enjoying a wild ride around the Royal Docks aboard a high-powered motor dinghy.
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Some 1,600 firms have been exhibiting their wares at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) fair at the Excel Centre this week.
As well as ocean going vessels, sniper rifles, tanks and aircraft were on sale.
The list of 61 countries invited to send buyers to the fair includes six on the UK government’s list of “human rights priority list” – among them Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Iraq.
And 11 of the attendees are countries deemed “not free” by Freedom House.
Last month it was reported Sadiq Khan had asked the fair’s organisers to “reconsider” the event, and not come back to the capital.
In a letter reported by the Independent, the Mayor argued London was “home to many people who have fled conflict and suffered as a consequence” of weapons “like those exhibited at DSEI”.
“For it to be used as a marketplace for those who wish to trade in weapons to some countries that contribute to human rights abuses goes completely against our values.”
He added: “I strongly urge you to reconsider this year’s event and any plans you have to host future events in the city.”