The National Police of Spain in collaboration with the National Gendarmerie of Argentina have dismantled a dangerous international band of arms traffickers supplying weapons to Brazilian drug traffickers.
The operation, described in a statement by the Spanish police as the “most important operation carried out in Argentina to date against illicit arms trafficking” led to the arrest of 26 people, 22 in Argentina, three in Miami and one in Spain.
More than 1400 weapons, many of them weapons of war, and a large quantity of ammunition of different calibers were seized as part of the sprawling international investigation.
In the statement the Spanish police said that the arms traffickers had established a triangular organisation in which loose pieces of different weapons were sent to Argentina from the United States, where they were then assembled. Meanwhile, ammunition and loaders were purchased in Germany and sent to Spain. From here they were sent to Holland and from the Netherlands, finally, to Argentina hidden in containers.
After being fully assembled in Argentina they were then sent overland, through Paraguay to Brazil, their final destination. Here they were sold to the big drug cartels that control the drug trafficking business with machine guns and other high caliber weapons.
Among the weapons seized were AK 47s, FAL rifles, Mausers, carbines, shotguns, machine guns, small arms like pistols and revolvers, mortar type rockets, grenades, a large amount of ammunition. High-end automobiles, large amounts of cash and documentation were also confiscated.
About 50 houses, offices and armories were raided and 17 people arrested during an operation supported by the US National Security Department.
According to Spanish police the organisation laundered its money through the “massive purchase of property in Spain”, which led to the arrest of a Spanish citizen in Valencia on the basis of an International Detention Order issued by Argentine judicial authorities.