Thousands of Guns Bound for Terrorist Groups Seized in Spain

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Thousands of Guns Bound for Terrorist Groups Seized in Spain

Spanish Police have released striking pictures of a huge weapons haul seized from an organised crime group.

The operation, which also involved Europol, uncovered the guns on the 12th and 13th of January 2017. Five people have been arrested.

Investigators also found an illegal workshop with machinery to manipulate and reactivate weapons, near Bilbao.

Spanish authorities seized the weapons in the autonomous region of Cantabria, in the city of Girona in the autonomous region of Catalonia and in the Spanish province of Biscay.

It includes over 10,000 assault rifles, machine guns, pistols, revolvers, and 400 shells and grenades.

It took two months to catalogue the entire arsenal, police said.

The criminal organisation had set up a sophisticated clandestine weapons factory that recovered and re-activated weapons previously purchased in the legal weapon surplus market as deactivated weapons, which they repaired and made operational after replacing the pieces that rendered it useless.

Aimed at reducing the number of illegal weapons circulating Europe, the effort led to the discovery of a trafficking gang whose complex operation "exploited legal loopholes and legislative differences between European Union countries to divert guns from legal suppliers", said Spain's national police.

Over 10,000 weapons were seized during the raids.

The firearms were destined to be sold to terror groups or gangs in Spain, France and Belgium.

They used space that they pretended was a sports shop to distribute their weapons, authorities said.

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