More than 60 firearms, 4,900 metal cartridges of different calibres, counterfeit money and a marijuana plantation have been intervened, among other effects.
The Guardia Civil, within the framework of Operation Botxo, has made six entries and registrations in the provinces of Bizkaia, Madrid, Alicante, Toledo, Navarra, Barcelona, Girona and Segovia. As a result, six people have been detained and three others have been charged with the alleged crimes of arms trafficking, arms depot, ammunition depot, explosives depot, illicit possession of weapons, currency counterfeiting, against public health, fraud of electricity, usurpation of civil status and documentary falsehood.
The operation began last year when it was detected that a person, resident in the province of Bizkaia, who could be trafficking weapons, which he sold through the internet and sent to his buyers by means of postal packages. The investigation revealed that this individual had been engaging in this illegal activity for several years through different portals and internet forums. The alleged perpetrator frequently changed his virtual identity to avoid being discovered.
The supplier of the weapons turned out to be a man posing as an authorized arms “broker” in the province of Madrid. It was dedicated to divert arms and ammunition to the illegal market, where criminals from all over Spain were resold by third parties. Most of the seized weapons and ammunition have been found in this person’s home, which were carefully hidden, as well as a clandestine workshop where they handled and manufactured their own ammunition, as well as another person detained in the province of Alicante.
Those detained in this operation also include the majority of the illegal buyers of the weapons, who are associated with organized crime and a history of drug trafficking and currency counterfeiting.
One of the detainees had been running from justice for several years, weighing on him several search and arrest warrants, which is why he used a false identity.
Main effects seized:
- 49 short weapons (pistols and revolvers), 5 submachine guns, 2 machine guns, 4 long weapons.
- 4,936 projectile metal cartridges of different calibers (9 mm. Parabellum, 38 special, 9 mm. Long, 9 mm. Short, 7.65, 32, 22, etc.)
- 2.5 kg. gunpowder and other elements for the artisanal manufacture of metallic ammunition. 2 mortar shells.
- Numerous new guns and other essential parts (revolver drums, bolts, sets of closures, frames, etc.) for the assembly and rehabilitation of weapons.
- A state-of-the-art scanner-printer for printing counterfeit and numerous counterfeit bills.
- An “Indoor” marijuana plantation.
This operation has been developed jointly by the Information Headquarters, the Information Section of the Basque Country Zone and the Information Group of the Command of the Guardia Civil of Bizkaia, with the support of the Information Groups of the Madrid Command, Alicante, Toledo, Navarra, Girona and Segovia, as well as the Information Section of the Catalonia Area, and members of the GAR, the GRS and the Cynological Service.
Possible links between arms trafficking and organized crime make fighting this threat one of the priorities of both the National Security Strategy and the European Union. The Information Service has carried out more than 72 operations against arms trafficking networks, in which 426 people have been arrested and 4,390 firearms (many of them for war) have been seized, 443,130 metal cartridges and more than 700,000 euros in the last five years.