Agents of the National Police have detained an individual in Barcelona for his alleged participation in the crimes of possession and illicit trafficking of weapons, storage of weapons of war and storage of ammunition. The subject, who was engaged in illegally trading essential parts and firearms, had at his home a workshop where he rehabilitated and assembled the weapons, and a storage room in a central Barcelona street as a warehouse.
The investigation, which has been carried out jointly by agents of the General Information Commissary and the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has been directed by the Court of Instruction number 29 of Barcelona and has had the collaboration of the Provincial Information Brigade of said city.
During the operation, carried out last Wednesday, the agents carried out three searches, managing to dismantle an illegal workshop used for the manufacture of weapons, as well as a dealer used to deposit weapons and ammunition. During the same, an M4 assault rifle -categorized as a weapon of war-, a tactical vest, an Astra 1921 pistol, a Walter pistol, a Rossi 22 revolver, a Walter 6.35 pistol, a 22 caliber revolver, have been intervened. various silencers, various fundamental parts of the firearm –percussion needles, chargers, slides and frames-, more than 1,500 cartridges -among them more than 500 war cartridges-, kits for firing a “Glock pistol” handgun, molds for the manufacture of frames, a press and an ammunition reloading machine.
It had a network of collaborators in the United States
The investigation began when, based on the information provided by the American police service, the presence in our country of a person who used parcel services for the illicit acquisition of firearms parts abroad was detected.
After various procedures, the agents verified how the detainee was a frequent user of said postal services -whose demand would have increased in recent months, during the period of restrictions due to the health pandemic- which he used to surreptitiously introduce fundamental pieces into the National territory.
In addition, experts against illicit arms trafficking have been able to determine how the detainee had a network of collaborators in the United States whom he used to legally buy essential parts of arms, which they sent by parcel in a disguised way as “automotive parts”.
The investigated, aware of his illegal activity and in order not to be discovered, used a sophisticated means of communication with his international accomplices, avoiding direct telephone communications and using identities interposed in the network to carry out the transactions.
It concealed an M4 assault rifle, similar to those used by the American army
The detainee made use of a storage room, located in a central street in Barcelona, where the agents located a small cabin used as a warehouse, which was used to clandestinely store an M4 assault rifle, a tactical vest ready for use with abundant war ammunition and chargers inside, rehabilitated and assembled weapons ready for later sale and numerous cartridges. The M4 assault rifle -categorized as a weapon of war-, is a model currently used by the US Armed Forces as part of their weapons equipment.
According to the researchers, the price of each of the rehabilitated weapons found could represent a cost of between 400 and 1,000 euros. An illegal workshop used for the transformation and rehabilitation of firearms has also been located – at the home of the detainee, with the necessary tools and supplies.
The arrested man, after the illegal purchase of the fundamental parts of firearms, proceeded to their assembly through the method of “cannibalization”, creating complete weapons without any type of mark or serial numbers that would allow their identification. Said acquisition, in itself, constitutes a crime of illicit arms trafficking, since the purchase of essential parts in Spain is subject to strict legal control, and their acquisition is not possible without the required license.
Numerous shooting kits used to transform semiautomatic firearms into automatic firearms or weapons of war were also intervened, and frame molds that the detainee himself manufactured and assembled together with the rest of the pieces received from the United States.
After the arrest of the detainee last Thursday, the head of the Court of Instruction 29 of Barcelona has declared his entry into prison.