France - Europe

84 arrested in France in crackdown over suspected arms trafficking

AFP / M. Ralston

Eighty four people were taken into custody on Tuesday morning, suspected of illegally buying arms via internet.


1,600 illegal online transactions were registered by police investigators.

According to an initial report, more than 330 handguns, 50 shotguns, dozens of spare parts and thousands of cartridges were seized.

The arms mostly came from Central Europe, Austria and Germany.

The investigation started in 2012 when French customs authorities intercepted a package, ordered through internet, which contained weapons.

A gun dealer from southeastern France was then charged with trafficking arms and importing automatic 9mn guns and Kalachnikovs.

About 370 investigators were involved in the police operation.

In December 2013, 45 people were arrested in the Paris and Lyon areas, and military weapons from the former Yugoslavia and Israel were also seized.

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