Europol reports signs of arms smuggling from Ukraine

Anhelina Sheremet

The European police body Europol reports signs of arms smuggling from Ukraine. There are cases of trade in firearms and military goods on the black market.

This information was confirmed to the German news agency DPA by the official representative of Europol, Jan Op Gen Oort, quoted by Der Spiegel.

"There is a risk that they [weapons and military goods] will end up in the hands of organized crime or terrorists," a Europol official said. Investigators from EU member states are also talking about signs of trade in heavy military weapons.

A Europol representative spoke of "alarming risks". According to him, it was recorded that people left Ukraine with firearms. There are also fears that weapons and ammunition are stored along the border for smuggling into the EU.

Before that, the German broadcaster SWR quoted a confidential Europol letter: according to investigators, criminal networks in the region carry out or plan to smuggle a significant amount of firearms and ammunition, including military weapons.

  • The European Union is planning to create a hub in Moldova in order to prevent the illegal arms trade from Ukraine, which has become a lot due to the war. The European side considers the border between Ukraine and Moldova to be a possible gateway for transporting weapons, so the hub is planned to be created there. The center will be universal — it will allow Europol to share information and the EU border agency Frontex to support border management and detect illegal arms trafficking.
  • On July 14, the EU stated that the information about "arms smuggling by Ukraine" supplied to it by its allies is an intensive disinformation campaign initiated by Russia. The U.S. also sees no signs that Ukraine can smuggle the provided weapons out of the country: "We donʼt see any signs that these weapons went anywhere other than to fight the Russians."