Over 1,000 officers took part in one of Poland’s largest police clampdowns in history, this time on a gang of arms dealers that resulted in the shakedown of 300 locations, detention of 81 people and securing of 250 firearms along with thousands of bullets.
Apart from the police, Europol, the Central Counterterrorist Subunit “BOA” and the Border Guard also participated in the operation that took place all over Poland. The goal was to detain the gang members, and their clients and to secure the weaponry.
It had been in 2020 that the Łódź Police Department picked up the trail of the gang. Collected evidence permitted the inference that the members of the international group had been purchasing arms in Germany, France, Belgium, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands . The acquired weapons were then trafficked into Poland.
Although some of the arms had been delivered in an inoperational condition, the mobsters proved skilful gunsmiths by rendering them capable of firing live ammunition.
The clampdown carried out at the end of April also involved operational activities in the Netherlands when one of the gang’s bosses was detained. The man was in fact a kingpin of the criminal enterprise, coordinating its movements from afar. Several pieces of firearms were found at his place.
The detainees faced over 100 charges, including participation in an organised armed crime group, possession and production of licenced firearms and ammunition, possession of explosives, and money laundering. One of the apprehended was faced with charges of possessing paedophiliac pornography.
The ‘last’ Panzerscheck
Another group investigated by the Łódź Police Department sourced their weapons from the Czech Republic. The arms acquired from the country came in great conditions, although still needed to be worked on.
Once brushed up and made neat, the firearms fell into the hands of shadowy clients, in other words, gangsters, poachers and also firearms enthusiasts.
Around 200 pieces of firearms were secured as part of this investigation, including scores of mortar shells, WWII hand grenades and two German man-portable recoilless anti-tank rocket launcher weapons, most likely the Panzerfaust or Panzerschreck.