Russian security services have reportedly cracked down on a supply chain of military-grade weapons from the European Union.
Gun control laws in Russia allow individuals to own guns under five-year licenses obtained after a background check for limited purposes including self-defense and hunting.
A total of 380 weapons, including 158 handguns and 94 rifles, have been seized in the raids across Moscow, St. Petersburg and Yaroslavl, the Federal Security Service (FSB) said in an online statement on Monday.
“The FSB, jointly with the Interior Ministry and Rosgvardia [National Guard] , thwarted an interregional criminal group involved in organizing a firearms supply chain from EU countries to Russia,” the statement said.
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The FSB said it arrested an unspecified number of people involved in the weapons smuggling operation, and that it was pursuing additional investigative steps.
Weapons seized reportedly included machine guns, anti-tank weapons, mortars, grenade launchers, silencers, ammunition and explosives, while two labs used to modernize weapons and make ammunition were also shut down.
In May, the FSB said it arrested 32 people in a similar weapons smuggling raid across 14 regions in Russia. In that operation, 83 firearms, including AK-47 assault rifles, were seized and four underground weapons workshops were shut down.