Spanish police bust international weapons-smuggling ring

Spanish police said Saturday that they had busted an international arms smuggling ring and arrested the alleged kingpin following raids on the island of Ibiza.

Nine people, including an employee of the police department, were arrested in total, Spanish officials said. The police claimed the ringleader was a former member of the Polish armed forces who had made millions through his illegal business activities. Four luxury cars were among the items seized in the raids.

Spanish police accuse the ringleader of selling 200,000 AK-47 rifles, rocket launchers and tanks to South Sudan. The gang also is accused of extorting money from companies in Spain and under threat of violence forcing the repayment of debts in the millions.

The ring used companies in Germany and Switzerland, whose offices were raided, police said, with the help of Interpol and Europol. The group's network in Europe also included companies in Belgium, Britain and France.

The investigation lasted about four years.

The gang leader was allegedly living on Ibiza with invalid papers as a diplomat of the West African country of Guinea-Bissau.

Last update: Sat, 23/07/2016 - 22:59

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