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Sunday 4 December 2016

Drug traffickers building up arsenal of weapons

Deadly AK-47s like the ones used in the shooting
Deadly AK-47s like the ones used in the shooting

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."

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