The special police commando launched an extensive raid against an international gang of weapons smugglers on the morning of January 24, in Berlin. They have carried out a series of raids on 26 properties in the states of Berlin and Brandenburg.
About 10 people are now being investigated for smuggling the weapons from Slovakia, with two being detained, the DPA newswire reported.
Police said that they had reason to believe that at least 10 Glock handguns had been imported to Germany from Slovakia since 2017, refitted and then sold into the Berlin crime scene. Around 70 refitted guns have been confiscated during criminal investigations in Berlin in the past 18 months, the public international broadcaster Deutsche Welle informed.
Slovakia’s National Criminal Agency (NAKA) is cooperating with the German investigative bodies within the framework of Europol, said police corps spokesperson Denisa Baloghová, as reported by the ČTK newswire. However, she refused to provide further details.
More that 700 weapons allegedly smuggled
The police raid was “of a rarely seen extent”, the Welt.de news website reported.
The security units of the capital allegedly launched a massive attack against the internationally active gunrunners, as part of their fight with organised crime.
The investigation has been underway for more than one and a half years and focuses on the organisation that smuggles weapons from the Czech Republic to Berlin, ČTK wrote.
One of the police officers suggested that more than 700 weapons have been smuggled to Berlin and its surroundings in this way.
Slovakia accused of failing to tighten regulations
Benjamin Jendro, a spokesperson for the German police union GdP, described the raids as a major success and said that they indicated that organised crime in Germany was not confined to the so-called Arab clans.
“The case clearly shows that there are multicultural networks that operate across international borders and are responsible for serious crime in our city,” he told Die Welt.
Some experts have accused Slovakia and the Czech Republic of failing to tighten gun regulations that would prevent weapons from being reactivated. Investigators have found that many guns simply have metal rods inserted in their barrels, which can easily be removed, Deutsche Welle reported.
25. Jan 2019 at 9:26 | Compiled by Spectator staff