French Cops Find Criminals with Rocket Launcher In ‘Gun-Free’ Europe

Bazookas are stored among some 8,000 weapons at the Criminal Research Institute of the National Gendarmerie (IRCGN), on May 19, 2015 in Pontoise, outside Paris. A scanner for autopsies, a collection of 8,000 weapons, 'data-gendarmes' to predict the evolution of delinquency: the gendarmerie includes hundreds of 'experts' in a brand …

Police in the French commune of Vaulx-en-Velin near Lyon made a shocking discovery over the weekend when they found a military-grade rocket launcher in the boot of a car.

The rocket launcher was discovered in the trunk of a Renault Megane belonging to two alleged criminals on Friday evening after police caught the pair outside a garage and later discovered the vehicle parked inside it, Le Parisien reports.

The two men, identified only as a 22-year-old and a 26-year-old, are already well-known to police according to investigators, with one source explaining that when the men were caught one of them had been in possession of the electronic starter of the car that contained the rocket launcher.

After arresting the pair, police said they searched the garage and found a number of items including chequebooks, stolen bank cards, and a number of automobile parts and licence plates. The car is believed to have been used in connection with robberies of freight trucks in the area as well.

Investigators of the law enforcement brigade of the judicial police of Lyon say they are currently trying to determine the role of the two young men in relation to the find, saying that they may have possibly either stumbled upon the garage during a regular break-in or may be involved in a larger network of smuggling auto-parts and illegal weapons.

The find of the rocket launcher is just the latest by French police in some of the country’s “sensitive” suburban areas, and is the third military weapon to be found in the last two months alone.

In 2017, French police in the heavily migrant-populated Seine-Saint-Denis suburbs of Paris also discovered an anti-tank rocket launcher, and then only a few months later another even larger weapons cache was found following raids in Eure-et-Loir, Eure, and Yvelines.

Prosecutor Rémi Coutin commented on the scale of the find, noting, ” investigators seized seven weapons of war, including two loaded and ready-to-run M80 rocket launchers capable of destroying a tank, two Kalashnikovs, one Spanish assault rifle, [and] two machine guns”. ]

He added that officers also found “twenty-two long guns including seven shotguns, 80 kg of ammunition or tens of thousands of rounds, and four jammers.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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