The Guardia Civil, in coordination with Europol, has dealt a blow to an international network for the manufacture of weapons of war, mostly through 3D printing technology, destined for sale to criminal organizations in countries in Europe and America. Operation Carmelo, carried out in eight European and American countries, has resulted in 14 arrests, 80 weapons seized and 14 clandestine workshops closed.
In Spain, six people have been arrested and three workshops located in Madrid, Jaén and León have been dismantled. Also seized were 42 firearms, more than 32,000 cartridges, 29 silencers, 18 kilos of explosive substances and numerous tools, machinery and components essential for the manufacture of weapons.
The dismantled workshop in the province of Madrid manufactured firearms using 3D printing technology. An FGC-9 submachine gun was found there, one of the most lethal weapons developed with 3D technology worldwide, given its ability to fire automatically as a small machine gun.
Effects seized in an operation against arms trafficking, including a 3D printer used to manufacture components. Guardia Civil
In the province of Jaén, two clandestine workshops equipped with heavy industrial machinery (such as lathes, milling machines or hydraulic presses) have been found in which 28 firearms were stored, several of them assault rifles classified as weapons of war. 23,350 metal cartridges, 29 silencers and 17 kilos of explosive substances have also been seized.
The operation began earlier this year, when firearms trafficking specialists from the Guardia Civil's Information Headquarters managed to identify several people residing in Spain who were acquiring tools for the manufacture of weapons. They were not authorized to possess firearms and had a prior criminal record for crimes related to the possession and trafficking of firearms. The Guardia Civil established contact with police from other countries such as the United Kingdom, Sweden, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands and Canada, where it was suspected that there could be clandestine workshops.
Outside Spain's borders, in Germany, four illegal workshops have been dismantled, two of them 3D printing firearms, and in Sweden a person who transformed firearms into real weapons was also arrested. In the United Kingdom, three people suspected of manufacturing firearms using 3D printing have been arrested and large volumes of ammunition, explosives precursors, gunpowder and even a military grenade launcher have been seized. Also in Canada, another workshop for the illegal manufacture of 3D firearms was dismantled.
The operation has been carried out by the Guardia Civil Information Headquarters in conjunction with EUROPOL and the police authorities of the United Kingdom, Sweden, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands and Canada. The Information Groups of the Commands of Madrid, Jaén and León, the Cynological Service (weapons detection dogs), GEDEX of Granada and León and other Units have also participated.