On 18 June 2018, the Croatian National Police identified 19 suspects of a criminal gang involved in international arms trafficking and smuggling, arresting 17 of them, in close cooperation with the German authorities and Europol. Over 40 weapons bound for Western Europe were seized as a result of coordinated raids across Croatia and Germany.
The intelligence-led Operation TELUM uncovered the existence of an organised crime group based in Croatia which organised the smuggling of large quantities of weapons, ammunition and explosives across Croatia and Germany.
On the action day, 26 house searches were carried in Croatia, and 6 in Germany. A Europol mobile office was deployed to Croatia, allowing for the real-time exchange of operational information between all involved parties.
The results of Operation TELUM include:
- 17 pistols
- 2 revolvers
- 12 long rifle
- 2 semiautomatic rifle
- 5 automatic AK47
- 1 rocket launcher M79 OSA
- 130 parts
- 5 295 ammunition
- 55 000 EURO
- 21 482 USD
- 15100 SWISS FRANC
Information gathered during these two operations will now be analysed by Europol in order to identify potential links with other criminal or terrorist activity across Europe and beyond.
In 2010 the European Union set up a four-year Policy Cycle to ensure greater continuity in the fight against serious international and organised crime. In 2017 the Council of the EU decided to continue the EU Policy Cycle for the 2018 - 2021 period. It aims to tackle the most significant threats posed by organised and serious international crime to the EU. This is achieved by improving and strengthening cooperation between the relevant services of EU Member States, institutions and agencies, as well as non-EU countries and organisations, including the private sector where relevant. Illicit arms trafficking is one of the priorities for the Policy Cycle.