OVER 700 firearms have been seized in the UK after a joint operation between British and Spanish authorities.
The shocking number was achieved during a five-year-long project to prevent easily convertible guns from entering the UK territory.
The operation, known as Project Vizardlike, started in 2019 after Spanish and British police authorities joined forces.
The NCA, Guardia Civil. UK policing, Border Force, international law enforcement and international gun retailers fought together to combat the firearm threat.
Charles Yates, NCA Deputy Director, said: “Very significant levels of harm have undoubtedly been prevented with this ground-breaking work.
A total of 703 firearms have been recovered so far in the UK.
There have also been 74 arrests, 50 convictions and 133 premises searched, but the work is not finished.
Of those cases, 20 involved actual or intended manufacture or conversion of weapons or ammunition.
There were another 11 cases of firearms being sent to people with mental health issues, seven of whom involved people holding extremist views or presenting a possible terrorism threat.
In four cases there were clear indications of onward firearms supply; four other instances involving drugs supply, four times involving explosives and in one investigation a machine gun was seized from the suspect who had bought a blank firer.
One of the highest harm cases featured a man who was jailed for 11 years after officers found 26 firearms at his home, some were even stored in his three-year-old’s bedroom.
“Firearms trafficking is a problem affecting the security of all European countries, which is why international cooperation is essential to effectively fight this threat, Valentín Díaz, Guardia Civil Head of the Intelligence Headquarters said.
- Gun-running, drug-trafficking, people smuggling ring bringing people into Spain via Libya and Algeria busted
- Machine gun and marijuana farm found inside rural squat in Spain’s Alicante area
- Machine guns and revolvers brought in to Spain’s Valencia from Poland for black market sales