22 Jan, 2024 @ 13:05
1 min read

Spain’s National Police arrests five in Madrid and Valencia on suspicion of exporting an anti-drone system to Libya

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THE National Police have made five arrests in Madrid and Valencia after they detected a group that was trying to illegally export an anti-drone system to Libya. 

The four suspects detained in Madrid ran a technology company dedicated to the supply of defence material, according to a statement from the National Police. 

The investigation began back in 2020, when the presence in Spain of one of the now-detainees, a Libyan national, became known to the police. The suspect is considered to be in charge of a paramilitary organisation known as RADA-SDF in his home country.

The police detected his involvement in transactions involving drones with thermal cameras, which were being sent to Libya for use by this paramilitary organisation, thus violating an international embargo on such sales to the North African country. 

Further investigations revealed the involvement of four more suspects, who were trying to illegally export an anti-drone system to the Libyan capital, Tripoli. The equipment had a value of more than €2 million, according to the National Police. 

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The suspects were detected exporting an anti-drone system to Libya, violating an embargo.

On Thursday, officers simultaneously swooped on one of the suspects in Valencia’s airport, and four others in Madrid.

Searches were carried out in the central offices of the suspect company in the Spanish capital, as well as two private residences in Valencia. 

These raids turned up a wealth of digital documentation and technological material related to the investigation.

The suspects were turned over by the police to the courts, who ordered they be held in custody. 

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Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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