Europol announced on Monday it had seized 1,776 firearms of Turkish origin during the annual Bosphorus operation, which ended on November 11, with the participation of forces from Albania, Greece, Portugal and Romania.
According to a written statement from Europol, the investigations initially led to 11 arrests, 191 firearms confiscations, 3,714 rounds of ammunition, small quantities of drugs, including cannabis and cocaine, unsealed packs of cigarettes and forged documents. The countries participating in the operation also conducted investigations that led to the additional seizure of 1,585 firearms.
According to Europol, intelligence gathering, cross-referencing databases and operational analysis pointed to Bulgarian firearms dealers.
Operation Bosphorus aims to tackle the proliferation of illegally modified and resold weapons, led by the Romanian Police (Politia Romana) under the European Multidisciplinary Platform against Crime Threats (EMPACT).
In recent years, firearms have become extremely popular with criminals and are becoming widely used in illicit operations. This is due to the fact that they can easily be turned into deadly weapons and are cheaper to supply, notes Europol.