French police have arrested four individuals in connection with organised drug dealing and have also found a massive arsenal of weapons including fully automatic rifles and anti-tank rocket launchers.
The four men were arrested in the regions of Eure-et-Loir, Eure and Yvelines which lies just west of Paris. Republic of Chartres prosecutor Rémi Coutin commented on the case saying investigators had found narcotics, 13,000 euros in cash and a massive arsenal of military-grade weaponry, radio broadcaster Europe 1 reports.
“The investigators seized seven weapons of war, including two loaded and ready-to-run M80 rocket launchers capable of destroying a tank, two Kalashnikovs, one Spanish assault rifle, two machine guns,” Coutin said.
The prosecutor added that the investigators also found, “twenty-two long guns including seven shotguns, 80 kg of ammunition or tens of thousands of rounds, and four jammers.” Four vehicles were also confiscated in the raid.
The arrests are the culmination of an investigation that began in November of 2015 after weapons were found at a garage just outside of the city of Chartres. A fifth suspect is also being sought after by police who have issued an international arrest warrant for him.
The raid is not the first time French authorities have found military-grade weaponry this year. In August, police in the no-go Paris suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis, a known hub of radical Islamism, found an anti-tank rocket launcher, two sawn-off shotguns, high power explosives and other equipment and ammunition.
In October, a man was arrested at a police roadblock in Port-de-Bouc near Marseilles in southern France. In his vehicle police discovered another anti-tank rocket launcher, a rocket, and a Kalashnikov rifle with ammunition. The 25-year-old man was known to police for “petty offences” but had no known links to radical Islamism.
Many of the radical Islamists involved in recent terror attacks in France have been known to have criminal backgrounds leading some to worry that weaponry could be finding its way into the hands of radical Islamists.
In Germany, there has been a growing cooperation between the drug scene and the radical Islamist scene with both Arab criminal gangs and radical Islamists recruiting in asylum homes.