Drug traffickers building up arsenal of weapons
Drug traffickers are gradually building up their arsenal of high-powered guns, frequently purchased as part of drug shipment deals.
Seizures so far have included machine guns and AK-47 assault rifles (inset) as officers step up their efforts to intercept the weapons, particularly when being moved between "safe" houses.
Since March, some 24 firearms have been seized along with €1.2m in cash while drug hauls had an estimated value of around €25m.
"Up to recently, the gangs were mainly bringing in handguns as sweeteners included in a drugs shipment, apart from one or two serious weapons importations, that were recovered," a source said.
"The gangs seem to be acquiring the guns to prove to rivals they have the firepower if a feud breaks out, but until Friday they had not been put into play."