You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Czech Police Crack Arms Gang Smuggling Tank Parts

Oct. 18, 2012 - 08:54AM   |  
  • Filed Under

PRAGUE — Czech police on Oct. 18 said they had charged five nationals suspected of smuggling arms, including parts for T-55 and T-72 tanks, mostly to fellow NATO and EU-member Poland.

“Five Czech nationals aged 37 to 64 have been charged with the particularly heavy crime of exporting military materials without due authorization or license,” a statement by the UOOZ organized crime police unit said.

“The materials were exported above all to Poland. I have no information about whether they were exported from Poland to third countries — that would be pure speculation,” UOOZ spokesman Pavel Hantak told AFP, refusing to speculate whether once in Poland, the arms were smuggled out to states subject to arms embargoes.

“The investigation is still underway,” he added.

A sting operation had been in the works for about a year and culminated in September with dozens of raids in the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia.

The five gang members risk up to 10 years behind bars if found guilty as charged.

The alleged mastermind of the operation has been taken into temporary custody, but the four other suspects were freed on their own recognizance after charges were pressed against them, the statement said.

Police said the men had smuggled mostly parts for Soviet-designed T-55 and T-72 tanks and tank-like BVP armored infantry vehicles, as well as night vision equipment including goggles, motor parts and weapon guidance systems.

According to the UOOZ, the smuggled materials came from legitimate Czech arms makers.

More In World News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

More Headlines from Europe



Login to This Week's Digital Edition

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Exclusive Events Coverage

In-depth news and multimedia coverage of industry trade shows and conferences.



Defensenews TV

  • Sign-up to receive weekly email updates about Vago's guests and the topics they will discuss.