France: Authorities Bust Weapons Trafficking Ring, Arrest 45
French police broke up an arms trafficking ring and arrested dozens of suspects in multiple raids on Monday, The Guardian reports.
Authorities seized hundreds of weapons, including military grade firearms and machine guns, along with ammunition and weapons parts. According to Sky News, the weapons and equipment had been trafficked from the Balkans since 2009.
The operation, which involved more than 300 police officers, netted 45 arrests and placed 38 suspects in detention. The suspects were reportedly linked to crime groups in Eastern Europe. The alleged network, which consisted mostly of Balkan countries and France, used the internet to traffic the weapons.
The operation was the result of an investigation that began in 2012 when law enforcement officials discovered military grade weapons and ammunition in a home in the Haute-Marne region of France. Authorities had been searching the house of an individual suspected of receiving stolen goods when they discovered military handguns and rifles.
Sky News reports that European nations have seen an increase in arms trafficking, raising concerns for law enforcement. According to Radio France Internationale, military grade weapons have been responsible for an increase in shootings in the southern city of Marseille.