7 suspects were arrested in France on 26 February as a result of operation involving the French Gendarmerie Nationale (National Gendarmerie) targeting a criminal group suspected of importing firearms into France. An associate was also arrested on American soil earlier in the month.
60 handguns, 20 rifles and 9 sticks of dynamites were seized as a result of coordinated raids throughout France (Loiret, Nièvre, Savoie, Seine-et-Marne and Val-de-Marne). A Europol mobile office was deployed to Nemours, allowing for the real-time exchange of information between all involved parties.
The inquiry was sparked in June 2018 after evidence was found during an unrelated house search which led to the identification of this organised crime group importing firearms into France. The firearms were bought legally in the United States by an associate, before being shipped illegally to France, broken down in parts spread across dozens of packages.
It is believed that this organised crime group trafficked into France over 450 weapons for the year 2018 alone.