By John Ensor •
Published: 07 Jul 2023 • 12:18
THE Guardia Civil has uncovered an illegal trade in the modifying and selling of firearms by a man in Galicia.
It was revealed on Wednesday, July 5 that a gunsmith living in A Fonsagrada, Galicia was arrested after he was discovered modifying rifles, pistols and shotguns before selling them on, according to La Voz d Galicia.
The Guardia Civil Guard seized almost 40 items, 2,200 cartridges, gunpowder and parts to modify pistols and rifles. The unnamed suspect worked in the fire brigade and his son is in the military.
The investigation, dubbed operation ‘Furancho,’ led by agents from the Lugo Command and the Information Headquarters, was made public earlier this week. It appears that the man had trafficked illegal firearms for years.
The investigation began in 2020, when police sources revealed that suspicions were raised when users of various Internet platforms were engaged in trafficking modified weapons.
This triggered the investigation that recently concluded with the arrest of a middle-aged man in A Fonsagrada, where it transpired that he had worked as a gunsmith in his personal workshop for many years.
Officers uncovered evidence that many customers sent packages with weapons and parts of rifles, pistols and other devices to the home of the suspect man, located in the municipality of Lugo.
Only when the Command considered that it had the necessary information and evidence, was the arrest of the suspect ordered.
A spokesperson for the Guardia Civil said, ‘a total of 39 weapons, more than 2,200 cartridges of different calibres, gunpowder for the manufacture of ammunition and tools for the transformation of weapons, as well as for the manufacture of ammunition were located.’
A brief list of the items seized include: 22 pistols, 11 revolvers, 4 shotguns, a CETME 7.62 calibre rifle, a carbine, over 2,200 cartridges of different calibres, 3,000 grams of gunpowder and multiple fundamental pieces of long and short weapons of different calibres.
In addition, ‘different machinery intended for both the modification and transformation of weapons has been seized, as well as different tools and supplies intended for the manufacture of ammunition.’
It has been confirmed that the suspect is accused of alleged crimes of depositing weapons, ammunition deposit, possession of prohibited weapons and illegal possession of weapons, ‘as well as for making modifications and/or transformation of weapons thanks to the knowledge he acquired in his time as a gunsmith.’
In addition, the secret workshop where he modified the weapons was searched, as well as the shooting gallery where he tested them.
Curiously, the armoury was just a couple of streets from the A Fonsagrada Guardia Civil Guard barracks. On the day of action, several vans were dispatched with hooded, armed officers.
Tests will now be undertaken by ballistics specialists, to compare the notches left in the projectiles and compare them with police databases of unidentified weapons. There is a possibility that one of these weapons could have been used to commit a crime.
Investigators have confirmed that the illegal modification of pistols and rifles is a serious crime. Not only for the mere fact of changing the components but because it is a way that a weapon that has been used for a crime can continue to be used without leaving a record of its existence.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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