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The detainee, a Spanish national, smuggled engines and military spare parts for tanks and armoured personnel carriers. SUR
Owner of Benalmádena workshop arrested for illegal shipment of military vehicle parts to Saudi Arabia
Crime

Owner of Benalmádena workshop arrested for illegal shipment of military vehicle parts to Saudi Arabia

A police investigation indicates that he had been sending engines and defence spare parts for ten years, as well as providing advice for the modernisation of vehicles that were used in wars, such as one in Yemen

Irene Quirante

Malaga

Tuesday, 5 March 2024, 13:45

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Guardia Civil officers on the Costa del Sol have arrested the owner of a heavy vehicle workshop in Benalmádena for the alleged illegal shipment of defence material destined for Saudi Arabia which, according to investigators, was used in wars, such as the one in Yemen. The suspect, a middle-aged Spanish man, was surprised and arrested as he was about to leave his home.

The businessman is accused of committing a continuous smuggling offence, for which another individual is also being investigated. According to sources close to the case, the man is alleged to have made profits of around three million euros after a whole decade of sending engines and military spare parts for tanks and armoured personnel carriers.

Police investigators also found that the company allegedly provided technical assistance for the modernisation of numerous armoured and armoured vehicles for the Saudi Arabian armed forces. According to the Guardia Civil, these vehicles were subsequently used in the war in Yemen, in contravention of UN Security Council resolutions against exacerbating the conflict.

Sources said the owner of the Benalmádena workshop spent some time in Yemen, around ten years ago when he is said to have established contacts with owners of armoured vehicle companies, with whom he agreed to carry out the smuggling activity.

In order to carry out these operations, which lacked the necessary transfer licences from the Spanish trade authorities, they were, allegedly, fraudulently declared as civilian lorry parts. The international trade in defence and dual-use material is strictly controlled.

The other man under investigation, also a middle-aged Spaniard, is, allegedly, linked to the Benalmádena workshop, which was also searched.

The police operation has not only prevented the company under investigation from continuing to illegally export military materials without any type of control by the Spanish authorities, but has also prevented these materials from being diverted to military conflicts, such as the one in Yemen, or to other countries in the Middle East.

The operation was carried out by the UCE3 unit of the Guardia Civil, with the support of the information group of the force in Malaga, under the direction of the High Court.

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