A second hand sofa, some vintage crockery, and a high-powered assault rifle- all under one roof!
Translated by Thomas Ansell
A judge in Leuwarden has released information about a unique gun-running gang that had been operating from the Northern Netherlands. Surprisingly, the gangs modus operandi was to sell a large range of weapons (including automatic assault rifles) from kringloops (second hand shops) in Groningen, Friesland, and Drenthe. As reported by RTV Drenthe.
In February 2020, the police raided places in Groningen, Leeuwarden, and Oosterwolde- seizing a large number of weapons, including explosives, and drugs. According to the Dutch public prosecution service, a 26 year old man from Oosterwolde, and a 35 year old Slovene-born Groninger are the main suspects. Both men are likely to land 10 years in prison for their crimes- various other members of the gang have been sentenced to between two and six years in prison, and hundreds of hours of community service.
According to the public prosecutors, the weapons were sourced in Easter Europe, and sold to Belgian and Dutch criminals. One of the key pieces of evidence was a bag full of weapons found in Belgium: the bag had a commemorative design for the anniversary of a certain Northern Dutch supermarket chain.
Of those arrested, two men are from Beilen and Hoogeveen in Drenthe, one woman is from Groningen, and another man is from Stadskanaal. Others were tracked to countries in Eastern Europe. The police were able to gather further evidence from phone tapping, whilst one man from Marum was caught after accidentally shooting himself in the knee with one of the weapons.