Thursday, the Italian police announced the discovery of 781 pump-action Winchester SXP shotguns, manufactured in Turkey. Found aboard a truck on its way to Belgium, the guns were seized because of the “special character of the load”.
“Given the particular character of the cargo, its origin and destination, a thorough examination of transportation documents was made”, said the police report.
The load was declared and no irregularities were detected by the customs. It however lacked necessary authorization issued by public safety, which is required for carrying high calibre weapons in Italy – even in simple cases of transit.
According to the Italian daily La Stampa, guns were arranged in cardboard boxes, on board of a heavy goods vehicle registered in the Netherlands and driven by a Turkish citizen. It arrived Monday in the port of Trieste (northeast).
The scanning of the vehicle revealed no caches that may have contained other undeclared weapons. “Given the recent episodes of terrorism and the seriousness of the situation on the international scene, the police has significantly raised the level of attention at border controls, ports and airports”, the statement said.
Winchester SXP guns are usually sold in armouries for recreational shooting and defence.