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Police arrest 16 people involved in gunrunning operation in south of Spain
Crime

Police arrest 16 people involved in gunrunning operation in south of Spain

The gang allegedly acquired the weapons through front men with valid firearm licences before selling them on the black market to drug trafficking gangs at triple their purchase cost

Europa Press

Malaga

Tuesday, 23 April 2024, 19:50

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Police in the south of Spain have arrested 16 people in Malaga and Granada provinces for buying and selling weapons used by drug trafficking gangs.

Officers carried out 12 searches and seized 14 tactical rifles, ammunition and 13,000 euros in cash.

The criminal group allegedly acquired the weapons through front men with valid firearm licences and then sold them on the black market, according to investigators. From there, they were bought by drug trafficking gangs for a price - usually triple their purchase value on the legal market. The weapons purchased were tactical, civilian versions of assault rifles, 300 calibre blackout, police said.

Three of the 12 searches carried out by police took place in homes that had been transformed into indoor marijuana plantations. Several tactical rifles were seized there, which were being used to secure the drugs in case of possible overturns or robberies by other gangs, according to police investigators.

The operation was launched after officers detected suspicious transactions in the purchase of several new weapons. Specialised arms control agents then alerted Guardia Civil's information service to investigate the case as arms trafficking.

The 16 people arrested, including two who were returning from abroad at Madrid airport, have been before the courts on charges of criminal organisation, arms trafficking and crimes against public health.

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