01/17/2021

Active French military among 10 arrested for arms trafficking

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Ten people, including two active military personnel, were arrested on Tuesday in the framework of an investigation into arms trafficking in France, judicial sources and sources close to the case reported on Wednesday.

The raid was ordered by Parisian investigating judges who since June 2020 have been in charge of a judicial investigation for “acquisition, possession, transfer, transport of category A and B weapons (automatic and single-shot, ndlr) in assembly” and “association of malefactors”, specified the judicial source, confirming information from the TF1 chain.

The network is suspected of having supplied arms to drug traffickers and far-right sympathizers, the source close to the case said.

One of the two detained soldiers works in the Ministry of Defense and the other, in a base in the country’s east.

Also among the suspects are “an ex-soldier and a gun fan who sympathizes with the extreme right,” according to TF1.

Some suspects bought assault rifles, automatic pistols, inoperative submachine guns from private collectors, according to the first elements of the investigation revealed by the chain. “After that, that arsenal was operational again, remilitarized, before being resold on the black market to the highest bidder,” added TF1.

AFP contacted the Defense Ministry, which declined to comment.

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