FRANCE, GERMANY AND AUSTRIA DISMANTLE INTERNATIONAL FIREARMS TRAFFICKING GROUP WITH THE SUPPORT OF EUROPOL

On 9-10 November 2017, 11 individuals suspected of firearms trafficking were arrested simultaneously by law enforcement authorities in France, Germany and Austria. The main provider, alongside two buyers, was arrested by the Austrian authorities. Around 50 weapons, numerous ammunition and more than EUR 115 000 were also seized as part of this operation.

The pan-European investigation was initiated in 2016 when the French Gendarmerie provided intelligence to Europol concerning an attempted manslaughter with a firearm linked to a person located in the area of Toulouse (France). By piecing together information gathered internationally, law enforcement authorities and Europol quickly uncovered that the main suspect had supplied firearms to several crime networks in Europe.

Intelligence analysis provided by and facilitated through Europol later allowed to identify the main targets in France and to confirm that the firearms originated from Austria and were traded in Germany thanks to a seller located there.

Information gathered during the operation will now analysed by Europol in order to identify potential transnational links.