Firearms smuggler arrested

The Guardia Civil has arrested a man in Solsona (Lleida) dedicated to acquiring firearms abroad and subsequently introducing them illegally into our country.

Up to 13 state-of-the-art semi-automatic pistols along with 1,100 cartridges of different calibres have been seized during the search of this person’s home in the Catalan town of Solsona. These weapons were originally lethal, 9 mm calibre, but recalibrated to the flobert system in the Eastern European countries where they were acquired. In this way they became free-sale weapons in those countries, but not in Spain, where a weapons licence is required for their legal acquisition and possession. Being easily manipulated, once in our country they could be converted back to their original calibre and become lethal again.

When the arms trafficking specialists of the Information Service of the Guardia Civil learned at the beginning of this year that a person in the province of Lleida was acquiring this type of weapons and importing them illegally, they verified that it was not an isolated event and that he had obtained numerous pistols and ammunition in foreign countries such as Slovakia or the Czech Republic.

These weapons are considered state-of-the-art pistols. Furthermore, being small in size, they are the weapons most in demand by criminal groups due to their ease of concealment.

Once the place where the suspect was thought to have hidden the weapons was located, this person was arrested and his home and a business he ran in this town were searched. Up to 13 semi-automatic pistols, 1,100 metal cartridges of different calibres and holsters and accessories to carry said weapons concealed were seized.

This Guardia Civil operation called “Centaurcat” has had the collaboration of the police forces of these Eastern European countries involved, under the coordination of Europol, and has made it possible to remove weapons destined for criminal organisations and criminal groups from the market.