Spanish company sold defence equipment to Libya

Arrests in Spain following export of anti-drone system to Libya

Police make arrests in Madrid and Valencia. Credit: PoliciaNacional/X

Recently, the National Police made a significant breakthrough involving the illegal export of an anti-drone system to Libya.

On the morning of Thursday, January 18 five individuals were apprehended in Madrid and Valencia. They are implicated in the illegal export of an anti-drone system worth over €2 million, intended for Tripoli Airport in Libya.

The arrested individuals include four directors of a Madrid-based technology firm specialising in defence material and a Libyan national, linked to a paramilitary group.

In-depth investigation leads to arrests

The National Police’s investigation, which started in 2020, unravelled a complex network of smugglers,  in which drones, equipped with thermal cameras, were shipped to Libya.

A Libyan, considered to be the head of the RADA-SDF paramilitary group, was found to be involved in drone transactions.

Libya, a country currently in conflict, is subject to a strict international embargo, the shipment violated international law and constituted the smuggling of prohibited goods.

The operation, spearheaded by the General Information Commission, involved the Provincial Information Brigade of Valencia. It was under the guidance of the National Court’s Prosecutor’s Office and directed by the Central Court of Instruction number three.

Seizures and legal proceedings

During simultaneous raids in Valencia and Madrid, the police seized substantial digital and technological evidence.

The individuals, after their arrest, were handed over to the Central Investigative Court number three. The judge has ordered imprisonment for two of the accused.

This operation highlights the National Police’s commitment to counter-proliferation and upholding international law.

The seized items and the ongoing legal proceedings mark a significant stride in the battle against illegal arms trade and international smuggling.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.