Nearly 500 illegal weapons seized in West-Flanders

Nearly 500 illegal weapons seized in West-Flanders
The Belgian federal police reported on average 5,500 offences of illicit firearm possession a year. Credit: Belga

480 illegal firearms, 10 grenades and a lot of ammunition were seized during 11 house searches in West-Flanders in September.

“The collection contains new weapons as well as collector’s items from the Second World War. Old weapons that were no longer in use were still made ready for firing,” said public prosecutor Filiep Jodts to Het Laatste Nieuws. Some items cost up to €4,000.

“We are now investigating the intentions behind the firearm collection, and whether there was criminal use or not,” said judicial director Kurt Desoete to Het Nieuwsblad. “We are pleased that these weapons are now off the market and can no longer be used with wrong intentions,” he added.

In total, the police found 480 illegal firearms, 500 spare gun magazines, 10 grenades, several batons, a significant amount of ammunition and tens of thousands of euros in cash. The minimum worth of the weapons is estimated at more than €200,000.

Aside from the two key figures, five other people were arrested. They risk up to ten years in prison for membership of a criminal organisation.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

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