16:45 GMT +324 May 2017
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    A Spanish flag flies at half staff in memory of Spain's former Prime Minister Adolfo Suarez at the Parliament in Madrid, Spain

    Spain Seizes More Than 10,000 Military Weapons Headed for Black Market

    © AP Photo/ Gabriel Pecot
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    In a series of carefully staged raids at the start of this year, counter-terror police in Spain have apprehended more than 10,000 military-grade weapons they claim were slated to be sold on the black market in Europe.

    Police and federal authorities in Girona, Spain, as well as in various other locations in the country, rounded up the weapons throughout January. In the armaments haul are anti-aircraft machine guns, shells, grenades and assault rifles. 

    Officials announced the haul only recently, as the process of taking inventory required additional time to count the weapons.

    The Spanish National Police, in cooperation with Europol, arrested five people in connection with the illegal cache, and claim that the weapons were bought legally, primarily from military groups auctioning off aging armaments. They were intended to be sold by a firearms-trafficking ring to criminal elements.

    Many of the weapons are of Spanish manufacture, according to reports, including legally purchased deactivated guns that can be made functional with easily available aftermarket parts. 

    Authorities also seized some 80,000 euros in cash (about $85,000) as well as parts, tools and machines for the maintenance and modification of the military hardware.

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    weaponry, Black Market, Spain
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