A LETHAL cache of illegal firearms has been seized as trafficking operations in Valencia and Bilbao were busted by Spain’s Guardia Civil.
Weapons included cannons, assault rifles, submachine guns, hand grenades and 27,000 live cartridges.
Seven people were arrested after ten searches throughout Bizkaia, on the north coast, and Valencia, in the south.
In all, 65 firearms were seized, along with 14.5kg of gunpowder and false documentation for the weapons.
Guardia Civil produced the list of weapons found.
- 44 handguns (pistols and revolvers)
- 18 weapons of war (assault rifles and submachine guns).
- 2 long weapons (rifle and shotgun)
- 1 handcrafted firearm
- 3 hand grenades.
- 3 silencers.
- New cannons and equipment for the assembly and recommissioning of weapons.
- 20 counterfeit blank disablement certificates
One of the detainees, a Bizkaia resident, had been selling arms illegally over the Internet for more than a decade, and was also helping others reactivate illegally-possessed weapons.
He was found to have direct links to other arms traffickers, known to authorities since 2012.
Some of the weapons seized had the ability to carry out automatic fire, thus considered “weapons of war”, rendering them so dangerous that they can only be owned by Armed Forces, Security Forces and Bodies of the State.
The 20 false disablement certificates were blank, ready to be falsified with the data of the weapons sold to give the impression they were useless – when, in reality, they were fully active and functional.
The raids and arrests were carried as part of the Comprehensive Plan for the Control of Firearms (PICAF) of the Civil Guard, dealing exclusively with the control of weapons and explosives across Spain.
PICAF have developed more than 89 operations against arms trafficking networks with 430 arrests, in total.
Almost 5,000 firearms have been seized (many of them also ‘weapons of war’), over 600,000 ammunition cartridges, 188 kilos of explosives and more than 700,000 euros in cash.