Arms trafficking in Charleroi: arrest warrant for 4th person charged extended
Wednesday, 05 August 2015
The Council Chamber in Charleroi extended the arrest warrant for the 4th person charged in the case of the international arms traffic dismantled last week. The suspect acted as a “letterbox” and received the arms shipments. He was not known by police until now. Federal judicial police in Charleroi searched various sites in the region as they were investigating a case of international arms trafficking last week. A gunsmith from Limburg in Germany had warned Belgian authorities following suspicious orders from a Belgian customer. His latest purchase in fact included approximately 70 weapons.
The investigation quickly revealed that the main suspect’s import license was counterfeit. A crude imitation of the signature of the former Minister-President of the Walloon region, Rudy Demotte, was enough to allow hundreds of weapons to get through over the course of several months. “These weapons were typically Glock or Sauer handguns, sometimes fitted with silencers. We also seized long firearms such as Browning rifles, pump-action shotguns or targetshooting shotguns. Some of them have already been traced and we are still looking into others. To date, none of them have been declared stolen or found to be linked to a particular event,” said a Charleroi PJF investigator.
In addition to the prime suspect, a “salesman” selling merchandise out of his garage in Couillet and his 2 main buyers were arrested for forgery, selling prohibited weapons, and criminal activity. A fifth suspect was charged as well but conditionally released.