GUARDIA Civil have seized 196 illegal guns including four ‘weapons of war’ in an operation against international arms smugglers.
Operation Cyclops ended with a total of 18 arrests, 15 of them in Cantabria, one inBizkaia and two in France. Eight other people are being investigated for firearms possession, storage and trafficking of arms and ammunition, possession of prohibited weapons and storage of weapons of war, as well as membership of a criminal organisation.
In addition to the confiscated weapons-121 hand guns and 75 rifles and shotguns-the Guardia Civil has also found a cartridge refilling machine together with a kilo of black powder and more than 6,000 cartridges of different calibres. They also discovered a telescopic sight, a silencer, a taser, a pistol ball point pen and various bladed weapons, as well as more than €100,000 in cash.
The Information Group of the Guardia Civil de Cantabria started the operation in September last year, after finding out that a man living in Rio tuerto (Cantabria) was selling arms he was acquiring in France.
The Guardia Civil found that he travelled periodically to the south of France along with three other people. Once there, they approached arms enthusiasts with the aim of acquiring arms and ammunition.
These facts were confirmed by French police through surveillance of the suspects while they were on French soil.
Back in Spain, police raided 34 premises including homes, shops and warehouses in Selaya, Saro,Sobremazas, Beranga, El Astillero, Anaz, San Salvador and Solares. French National Police searched two buildings in France, seizing two small arms and four illegal long weapons.
Once in Cantabria, the organisation was initially dedicated to fine-tuning the acquired weapons and to later keep them for their personal collections or to sell them to third parties.
Selling the arms proved to be a lucrative business with profits f between 200 and 400 per cent on each sale.
The organisation also supplied ammunition and repaired the weapons it sold to its customers.