SPAIN’S National Police force, with the support Europol weapons and explosives experts, has arrested a man on suspicion of being a member of a firearms-trafficking network with several links to North America.
The individual was detained near Sevilla in Andalucia during the second phase of Operation Alpes, a follow-up to the original investigation that saw the involvement of the Federal Agency for State Protection and Counter Terrorism of Austria.
Investigations after the first phase revealed that the criminal group had different facilitators in the United States in illegally supplying the arms-trafficking ring with parts of weapons to assemble and produce new ones.
The Spanish National Police believe that the detained suspect is one of the network’s main perpetrators and is accused of illicit firearms trafficking and for being a member of an organised crime group.
Europol experts played a key role during the operation by exchanging information and cross-checking data. A mobile office was also deployed to Spain for on-the-spot support on the day of the operation.
Operation Alpes was launched as part of the EMPACT illicit firearms trafficking action plan.