Police seized more than 638 weapons and arrested 205 individuals in a large-scale operation that took place on 10, 11 and 13 September throughout Belgium.
800 police officers from different federal judicial police, as well as from several areas of the local police of Mons-Tournai, were involved in the operation, which was coordinated by the Federal Prosecutor’s Office, reports the Brussels public prosecutor.
The operation involved several investigative judges as well as the prosecutors of Mons-Tournai, Charleroi, Liège, Nivelles, Namur, Halle-Vilvoorde, Brussels and West Flanders.
The raids, of which there were 280 in total, targeted people suspected of having illegally imported arms into Belgium. Some of the arms that were seized during searches reportedly came from an armoury located in Maubeuge in France.
Among the arms seized were riot-gun weapons, semi-automatic weapons and handguns. In many cases, the arms were purchased under the guise of a sports shooting certificate.
Police also seized several kilograms of drugs and two cannabis plantations.
In Belgium, possession of a firearm requires authorisation. Individuals caught with firearms without the correct authorisation may face imprisonment for one to five years or a fine of €800 to €200,000.
The Brussels Times