The Civil Guard dismantles a plot of trafficking and illegal sale of weapons

The operation has been carried out in Bizkaia and Valencia and 7 people have been arrested and 10 searches carried out

65 firearms have been intervened, more than 27,000 metal cartridges of different calibers, 14.5 kg. of gunpowder, as well as false documentation for weapons.

Among the seized weapons are 18 weapons of war (assault rifles, submachine guns and machine pistols).

The Civil Guard, within the framework of the "EBANISTA" operation, has dismantled an illegal plot of arms trafficking. The operation has been carried out in the provinces of Bizkaia and Valencia, seven people have been arrested and charged with the crimes of trafficking in arms and ammunition, deposit of weapons of war, deposit of ammunition, deposit of explosives. 10 searches have been made in which it has been seized:

  • 44 handguns (pistols and revolvers)
  • 18 weapons of war (assault rifles and submachine guns).
  • 2 long weapons (rifle and shotgun)
  • 1 handcrafted firearm
  • 3 hand grenades.
  • 3 silencers.
  • A multitude of new barrels, and sliders, bolts, fastener assemblies, frames, etc. for the assembly and rehabilitation of weapons.
  • 298 high-capacity chargers.
  • More than 27,000 metal cartridges of different calibers (including war)
  • 14.5 kg of gunpowder and 18,400 pistons for illegal ammunition reloading.
  • 20 counterfeit blank disablement certificates

Weapon rehabilitation

The investigation began last year as a result of the analysis and integration of the intelligence available on arms trafficking and the exchange of information on this matter with police services from other countries, it was possible to verify that some of the weapons seized in different operations carried out previously They had been sold by one of the now detained, a resident of the province of Bizkaia, who was found to have been illegally selling essential components and parts of firearms over the Internet for more than a decade to people who acquired them to repair or reactivate weapons they illegally possessed.
Once this individual was identified, it was found that he was directly linked to numerous people arrested since 2012 for arms trafficking, distributed throughout different parts of the national geography, and in which the common link of all of them was that their objectives The principals had been arrested for dedicating themselves to the rehabilitation (reactivation) of disabled firearms so that they could carry out live fire, or to the assembly of complete firearms based on different parts supplied by the now detainee; These weapons were later diverted to their illegal trade.
The investigation on this individual revealed how, taking advantage of his initial contacts with some of the buyers for the sale of parts through Internet advertisements, later and already through encrypted messaging applications, he took the opportunity to sell them complete and active firearms and ammunition illegally. For this, it previously obtained deficiently disabled firearms that it rehabilitated by replacing its disabled barrels with new ones.

Customer “getters”

In order to carry out this illicit activity, the main objective had the collaboration of the rest of the detained persons, to whom it resorted in some cases to the achievement and even artisan manufacture of new cannons and fundamental pieces with which to rehabilitate the weapons, and in Others as "getters" of clients for their illegal sale, some of whom have also been arrested in the framework of this operation, such as a Bilbao neighbor who was intervened with an assault rifle (war weapon) and three pistols, all of them active, which had previously acquired the disjointed plot.
Some of the weapons that this plot had for sale were weapons with the capacity to carry out automatic fire (machine gunners) and that are considered "weapons of war", which due to their special harmfulness and dangerousness cannot be possessed by individuals, being for the exclusive use of the Armed Forces or the State Security Forces and Bodies.
Along with the firearms, the dismantled plot also trafficked with the ammunition necessary for them, for which they had large quantities of metal cartridges of different calibers (including war ammunition), in addition to handcrafting the same, for which they had 14.5 kg of gunpowder.
Likewise, more than 20 false blank certificates of disablement were intervened, ready to be falsified with the data of the weapons they sold and in this way try to pretend that they were disabled when in fact they were fully active and functional, facilitating their sale. in the illegal market, thereby increasing their price.

Comprehensive Plan for the Control of Firearms (PICAF) of the Civil Guard

This operation is part of the Comprehensive Plan for the Control of Firearms (PICAF) of the Civil Guard, which is the Body that at the national level is exclusively entrusted with the competence over the control of weapons and explosives.
For this reason, the Information Service of the Civil Guard has been making a constant effort to detect and neutralize the new procedures and channels for the illegal distribution of firearms that are appearing; As evidenced that since the entry into force of the aforementioned PICAF in 2015, the Information Service Units have carried out more than 89 operations against arms trafficking networks with the result of 430 people arrested, more than 4,810 firearms seized (many of them from war), 603,125 metal cartridges seized, 188 kilos of explosive substances seized, more than € 700,000 in cash and 20 clandestine workshops dismantled.
The Ebanista operation has prevented the high number of seized weapons that could have been diverted to illegal trade and sold to criminals, with the unforeseeable and serious consequences that this could bring for public safety.
The possible links between arms trafficking and organized crime or terrorist organizations make the fight against this threat one of the priorities of both the National Security Strategy and the European Union.
The operation has been directed and coordinated by the Court of First Instance and Instruction No. 1 of Guetxo (Bizkaia) and developed by Agents of the Information Office (UCE-3) of the Civil Guard in conjunction with the Information Group of the Biscay Command, with the support of the Valencia Area Information Section, the Cynological Service (detection dogs for weapons and explosives), the Rapid Action Group (GAR) and the USECIC of Valencia.

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