Belgian couple accused of smuggling firearms into Sweden appear in court

Belgian couple accused of smuggling firearms into Sweden appear in court
Oresund Bridge. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

A Belgian couple accused of smuggling firearms into Sweden appeared in court in the city of Malmö on Monday, Belga News Agency reports.

The two Belgian nationals — one male, one female — were arrested by the Swedish authorities on 1 December last year while driving across the Oresund Bridge, the 8-kilometre structure connecting Denmark to Sweden.

The couple initially claimed that they were on their way to a wedding. However, Swedish customs officials became suspicious when they noticed that the woman had not taken any luggage with her, and when the man proved unable to provide any further details about the supposed bride and groom.

The woman was later discovered to have concealed two weapons under her bra and four in her trousers. Nine other weapons were also found hidden in a space under the car's dashboard. It is the largest arms seizure by Swedish customs officials ever.

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"It's a good thing that we were able to prevent these 15 firearms from entering the country before they fell into the hands of criminal gangs," said Kristian Johansson, a spokesperson for the Swedish customs authorities.

The defendants claim that the weapons were picked up in Germany and were on their way to being delivered to Stockholm. The woman has also stated that she did not know what the weapons were supposed to be used for and that her husband had simply told her to hide them under her clothes.

The couple faces up to seven years in prison. The Swedish Public Prosecutor's Office has also demanded that the man and the woman serve their sentences in Sweden before being deported, and that they be banned from entering the country for 15 years.

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