15:51 Aug. 7, 2016
Journalists travel to Romania to meet gun dealers ‘willing to sell arms to absolutely anyone'
Military-grade weapons smuggled from conflict zones such as Ukraine can be easily sold into countries of Western Europe, says a journalistic investigation conducted by British Sky News TV channel.
According to the Sky News report published on August 7, after several months of negotiations the journalists were able to meet Romanian gun dealers, ready to sell arms "to absolutely anyone: bank robber, mass murderer or terrorist."
Journalists travelled to a remote part of Romania, where the gang members showed what they could supply.
"At the boot of their car they revealed the weapons available to buy, or rather the types of weapons. They assured us they could supply thousands of guns and crucially the ammunition to go with them," says the report.
"We bring them from Ukraine with the ammunition, as much as you want," one of the men was quoted as saying by the Sky News.
The men claimed their weapons are smuggled from Ukraine into Romania before being shipped by another gang to Western Europe and the Middle East.
"The men said they only dealt with firearms but they had close links to another gang that specialised in heavy weapons, grenades, rocket-propelled grenades and mines."
The investigation does not say who from Ukrainian side could supply the Romanian gang with weapons.
Photo shows detained weapon dealers and seized weapons in Cherkasy, Ukraine. The war in eastern Ukraine against Russia-backed separatists has led to the uncontrolled spread of firearms throughout the country, with experts describing Ukraine as a "supermarket" where millions of illegal weapons are for sale (Ukrainian Security Service photo via AP)
The British TV channel explained that the investigation was conducted amid the increase of automatic weapons use in mass shooting attacks across Europe.
The anonymous gangs told journalists that the AK is the most requested weapon which is rarely used by ordinary criminals.
Back in London the journalists showed their film to officers of the National Crime Agency (NCA).
They confirmed that the types of weapons, the location of the meeting and prices discussed were in line with their intelligence data.
"The weapons are often sourced near conflict zones like Ukraine, which is where your meeting took place," Ian Cruxton, Director of Organised Crime at the NCA was quoted as saying.
Neither Ukrainian, nor Romanian authorities have commented on the journalistic investigation so far.