BASQUE COUNTRY – The Guardia Civil have arrested a man, and dismantled a workshop in Bermeo, Bizkaia. This was for allegedly manufacturing homemade weapons.
Under the framework of operation PRINTER, the workshop was found to contain homemade weapons, metal ammunition, devices and explosive mixtures using 3D printing. Several firearms have also been seized, including ammunition and ready-to-use war weapons.
Manufacturing homemade weapons
Likewise, the following was also found;
- three assault rifles
- ammunition pistols
- a cannon shotgun
- five explosive devices
- almost 200 electric initiators
- three kilos of gunpowder
- more than six kilos of precursors to create explosive mixtures
- nearly 400 metallic cartridges
- two 3D printers
Furthermore, several of the weapons had their serial numbers erased or lacked them. Moreover, this shows their illegal origin.
Operation PRINTER began at the end of last year. This was when the Guardia Civil became aware, via the Intelligence Centre against Terrorism and Organised Crime (CITCO), of a suspicious transaction of *explosive precursors through an online trading platform.
Despite the security measures to avoid being discovered, a 51-year-old individual living in Bermeo was identified.
Consequently, it was possible for the police to verify how this person would have acquired the precursors for the manufacture of explosive mixtures, such as gunpowder, for unknown purposes. As the investigation progressed, his illegal possession of various firearms (some of them smuggled from abroad) and the manufacture of firearms or their essential components using 3D printers were also discovered.
Home and garage searched
As a result, his home and garage were searched. There, 5 small improvised explosive devices already assembled and equipped with their respective remote electrical detonation systems were seized. Also seized were;
- 197 electrical initiators
- around 3 kilos of gunpowder
- 6.5 kilos of precursors and chemical substances used for the homemade manufacture of these devices and explosive mixtures
Among these weapons, the 3 assault rifles stood out. Not only were they weapons, but they were specifically classified as weapons of war, both for their calibre and for their machine gun ability to fire automatically. Possession of these types of weapons is totally prohibited to individuals.
Police also discovered weapons that were originally disabled weapons (deactivated), but that the detainee had manipulated, and reactivated them, leaving them in working condition and able to fire live.
In addition to the complete and active weapons mentioned above, 2 other disassembled pistols and several frames, slides, semi-manufactured handcrafted barrels, adapters for coupling silencers and other parts and tools were also seized. All this showed the detainee was dedicated to the illegal manufacture of weapons by assembling parts of different origins.
For this purpose, he also had 2 state-of-the-art 3D printers. Using these, he had allegedly already manufactured several pistol frames, grips, and other parts. These, together with the other metal parts of seized weapons, could be used to assemble complete weapons. Furthermore, the warehouse also contained numerous resin containers for 3D printing and PLA filament spools, which are the raw material used for its manufacture.
War calibre weapons
As the detainee did not possess a gun license, he was therefore prevented from acquiring the ammunition he needed for the weapons he had illegally manufactured. The manufacturing side was carried within a workshop he created in a garage in the basement of a nearby building. In the garage, he had workbenches installed with three cartridge reloading machines, hundreds of empty cases, projectiles, pistons (percussion caps) and gunpowder for the homemade manufacture of ammunition for the 45 ACP, 6.35 ms., 9 mm parabellum, 44 magnum and 223 Remington calibres, some of them classified as war calibre.
*Explosive precursors are chemical substances that, from certain concentrations and mixed with each other or with other products, are likely to be used for the homemade and illicit manufacture of explosives, so their trade, acquisition, possession, and use are rigorously controlled. to prevent their diversion for illicit, violent, or terrorist purposes.
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