PSP ends operation against arms trafficking with 25 arrested

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The operation against arms trafficking carried out today by the PSP in the districts of Lisbon, Santarém and Leiria ended with 25 detainees and 76 firearms seized, according to a statement from the security force.

Authorities served 80 search warrants, also seizing cocaine (in a quantity yet to be determined), a telescopic sight, a silencer, nine air guns, two alarm guns, two extendable batons, a brass knuckle and a ballistic vest. The detainees – 23 men and two women – are aged between 23 and 82 and are suspected of the crimes of arms trafficking, possession of an illegal weapon and drug trafficking.

By 16:00 was still the inspection of a commercial establishment in the district of Santarém, “where there are strong indications of illegal sale of arms and ammunition”, according to the note released, which stressed the “large size and complexity” of the operation.

The PSP added that around 600 police officers from different divisions of the Lisbon Metropolitan Command and Setúbal District Command, the Weapons and Explosives Department and the Special Police Unit were involved, through the Intervention Corps, the Special Operations Group and the Cinotechnical Operational Group, in addition to the support of military personnel from the National Republican Guard and INEM.

According to another statement previously released by the security force, the operation follows an investigation that has lasted for about a year and a half, delegated by the Central Department of Investigation and Criminal Action (DCIAP) of the Public Prosecutor’s Office (MP) to the Public Security Police (PSP).

At issue is a group of suspected illegal sellers of firearms and ammunition, who have “strong indications” of having illegally circulated dozens of firearms and “a considerable amount” of ammunition of various calibers.

DCIAP has since released a press release pointing to the suspected crimes of arms trafficking and possession of a prohibited weapon.

“It is indicated that the suspects acquired and resold firearms, ammunition and components, without having a license for that purpose and without the buyers having a license for that acquisition. It is also indicated that one of the suspects, who manages a shotgun store, participated in these illicit sales and concealed them”, can be read in the MP’s note.

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