Video footage released by Europol on Tuesday shows the massive cache of weapons, which the Spanish National Police seized in Bilbao, Cantabria and Gerona in January as part of operation Portu, which was supported by Europol. The haul was so great it took weeks to catalogue.
The European policing agency said in a statement that there was a “significant risk” of the weapons “being acquired by organised crime groups and terrorists.”
“Due to their characteristics, their calibre and their readiness for reactivation, the seized weapons had an easy journey in the black market and posed a significant risk of being acquired by organised crime groups and terrorists,” Europol said.
The stash contained deactivated firearms which were largely purchased legally, and were later reactivated. Firearms found at the scene were ready to be repaired and transformed back into working weapons.
Huge firearms depot seized during operation Portu with Spanish @policia now revealed https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/huge-firearms-depot-seized-during-operation-portu-now-revealed …#firearms #EU #arms
Five people have been arrested and €80,000 ($85,000) seized along with the weapons, Spanish police reported.
The crime group was using a sports shop as a front for its illegal firearms distribution centre. A workshop used to reactivate the firearms was also discovered, as well as equipment to create forged certificates of reactivation.