Swedish police have discovered one of the largest caches of weapons in recent years following a raid on a number of homes in a borough of the city of Gothenburg linked to gang crime.
Officials say that they recovered a number of weapons in the raids including automatic rifles, hand grenades, and explosives which they believe to all be linked to organised crime, Swedish broadcaster SVT reports.
The raids came after a routine traffic stop in which a man described to be in his 20s was discovered to be in possession of an automatic rifle in his vehicle. The man was previously known to be associated with criminal gangs in the city, police said.
Following the arrest of the man, police were able to connect him to several homes which were raided on Wednesday, yielding two fully automatic rifles, three hand grenades, three explosive charges, and 150 grams of illicit drugs.
Swedish Police Recover Hundreds of Explosives During Grenade ‘Amnesty’ – But No Grenades https://t.co/BxXlhNxYxx
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“It is definitely one of our biggest seizures which we have undertaken in recent years,” said police commissioner Christian Nyhlén who went on to add, “It was the result of smart and aggressive police work. We are satisfied.”
“I think that with this seizure we may have prevented future shootings and serious violent crimes. This can have an effect,” he said.
The weapons seizure comes after Swedish authorities made an attempt to get hand grenades off the streets in recent months by offering an amnesty for criminals. But despite the offer, they were unable to recover any in southern Sweden, according to regional police munitions director Bengt Schuster.
According to Schuster, police were called out to around 280 addresses since the amnesty began on October, and while they did find explosives, most were items such as dynamite used by farmers and others in rural communities to remove rocks and stumps.
The weapons find also comes less than a year after officers in Stockholm discovered automatic rifles, pistols, ammunition, and drugs at a garage in Skärholmen.