Police uncover West Bank firearm trafficking ring
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Police uncover West Bank firearm trafficking ring

Suspected ringleader identified as Israeli Arab man, 45, from East Jerusalem, arrested while carrying handguns, Kalashnikov

Illustrative photo of Israeli Border Police officers (Flash90)
Illustrative photo of Israeli Border Police officers (Flash90)

Police arrested an Israeli Arab on charges of illegally smuggling “large quantities” of firearms, it was revealed Sunday morning.

The man, identified as a 45-year-old resident of the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem, was under investigation for several months, police said.

The central investigative unit of the Judea and Samaria Police — the police division in the West Bank — employed undercover officers to collect evidence of the trafficking, which a police statement said involved “various types of weapons, and in large quantities.”

He was arrested on November 19 in a joint operation in Shuafat between Border Police forces and a police SWAT team.

Firearms found by police during arrest of Israeli Arab man suspected of running an arms trafficking ring in the West Bank, November 19, 2015. (Israel Police)
Firearms found by police during arrest of Israeli Arab man suspected of running an arms trafficking ring in the West Bank, November 19, 2015. (Israel Police)

At the time of his arrest, police found him carrying a bag with three handguns, a Kalashnikov assault rifle, ammunition and replacement parts for various other firearms.

The suspect confessed to masterminding the weapons trafficking ring, police said. His remand was extended until December 1.

Eight additional suspects were arrested for their part in the ring, and more arrests are expected.

Police did not indicate whether the firearms were being sold to criminal groups or terror organizations.

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