Spain and Europol dismantle crime network involved in firearms trafficking

26 July 2016
Press Release
Press Release/News

This News/Press release is about Illicit firearms trafficking

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Europol has supported a Spanish National Police – led operation which resulted in the dismantlement of an organised crime group headed by a Polish national suspected of firearms trafficking.

Numerous house searches were carried out in several locations in the municipality of Ibiza in the last couple of weeks. Simultaneously, Europol coordinated searches in some firms located in Germany and Switzerland.

As a result, several members of the crime network were arrested. They are suspected of having committed offences related to organised property crime, extortion, money laundering, fraud, bribery and disclosure of official secrets.

The leader of the network, a former army officer, was located in Ibiza. He was the bearer of a counterfeit diplomatic passport and he displayed a very high standard of living i.e. he was living in a luxurious mansion and was driving very expensive vehicles. Four such vehicles were seized by Spanish authorities.

By piecing together information gathered internationally, law enforcement authorities and Europol specialists discovered that the suspect had supplied firearms to several crime networks in Europe.

Moreover, investigations showed that he supplied significant amounts of weaponry to an African country, estimated at some 200 000 Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifles, missile launchers and tanks, via Polish companies he controlled.

The investigation continues to identify eventual international links, further to those with Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Latvia, United Kingdom and USA.