Europe and USA are in danger: Drug traffickers attack with NATO weapons meant for… Ukraine

9:40 12.06.2024 •


Narcotic gangs in southern Spain use NATO assault rifles, which security forces fear were weapons destined for Kyiv but were diverted to the international black market. Specialists estimate that there are up to 3.5 million unregistered weapons which were meant for Kyiv, and the lack of controls is having a negative effect on Spain’s domestic security.

The latest shooting between Spain’s Civil Guard agents and drug traffickers on May 22 in Sanlúcar de Barrameda is worrying. Armed only with their service pistols, the guards were met with bursts from automatic weapons and only after the arrival of reinforcements were they able to seize 2.5 tons of hashish next to the mouth of the Guadalquivir River and arrest nine people, notes ‘VT uncensored Foreign Policy’.

Although the weapons were not seized, the shell casings collected were 5.56 mm calibre ammunition, the standard assault rifles that NATO uses, for example, the American M16-A4. This type of weaponry was not usually used by drug traffickers in Spain before the war in Ukraine, and now the Civil Guard has noted that organised crime groups are using such assault rifles with increasing frequency.

The current situation is similar to June 2023 in Mexico, when members of the Gulf Cartel were detected carrying AT4 anti-tank rocket launchers of Swedish-American manufacture, a weapon that is on the list of war supplies that Kyiv received.

Civil Guard sources confirmed to El Español that the nature of the incident is not an isolated event but rather is a trend that increased since the beginning of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine. Europol and the Spanish National Police have already warned of this trend in their reports. The Strategic Plan 2022-2025 warns of the “risk of an increase in the short and medium term of arms trafficking” used in the conflict in Ukraine and notes that of the eleven million handguns and automatic rifles sent to Kyiv, around 3.5 million are not registered.

The Spanish government noted the risk of this illegal trade in its 2023 Annual National Security Report, where it was admitted that as a result of the conflict in Ukraine, there is a “greater availability of firearms” and a risk of “diversion” towards illegal trade and “black arms markets.”

In operations resulting in traffickers arrested and material seized, agents warn of a more or less recent modernisation of their weapons arsenal. Instead of the Soviet-era AKs, more modern Western-made rifles and submachine guns are now plentiful.

“The battle against drug trafficking has entered another phase,” a Civil Guard agent told Diario de Cádiz under conditions of anonymity.

Once weapon delivery documents are signed, some of the weapons that NATO sends to Ukraine return to certain EU countries, where they re-enter via the black market. It is recalled that in 2022, the superintendent of the National Bureau of Investigation of Finland, Christer Ahlgren, pointed out that some of the weapons sent by several NATO countries to Ukraine had reached the hands of criminal gangs in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands.

Given this change in the correlation of forces, the complaints from agents and associations of the Civil Guard are recurrent. They demand more means to “adapt to the violence of drug traffickers” and a further increase in penalties for drug trafficking.

The Spanish Association of Civil Guards describes the trend as “alarming” and emphasises that there are not “enough agents” to patrol or carry out investigations. “And not even remotely enough to stop and detain the drug dealer-murderer,” they said in a statement.

Another organisation, JUCIL, points out that the level of violence is “unacceptable and worrying,” which is why they ask for the maximum penalties provided by law for the aggressors and that these types of situations “not go unpunished.”

But this situation is not new either, because as Juan Antonio Delgado, agent of the force and deputy in the Parliament of Andalusia for the Podemos party, recalls, “the Civil Guard has been demanding more resources for 30 years or even more.”

There is a paradigm shift. Now, the drug trafficker does not hesitate to shoot at police, when before, they usually do not do this.

“Now they are going after us,” an agent from the anti-drug team confessed to Spanish media.

Yet, the Spanish government insists on sending more weapons to Ukraine, including ammunition, anti-aircraft missiles, and anti-drone equipment, all of which will be extremely useful to narcotic gangs operating in the country.

In fact, as recently as May 27, Spain pledged to provide military support to Ukraine worth 1 billion euros under an agreement signed between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

In effect, Spain’s reckless and mindless support for the Kiev regime is having a direct negative effect on domestic security.


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