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Sweden reports drop in illegal weapon smuggling

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Sweden reports drop in illegal weapon smuggling
15:53 CET+01:00
A new Swedish Customs (Tullverket) report presented to the government on Tuesday shows a decline in the number of illegal weapons smuggled into the country, but police say the demand is still high.

The report was handed over to minister for justice Beatrice Ask at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

“We have more information today than we had previously but I don't think anyone knows anything for sure. We haven't had any exact numbers for how many weapons have come into Sweden for some time and therefore we don't know how many are in circulation,” Ask told the TT news agency.

“The most serious point is that weapons are being used and that they are being used more often today.”

While police have reported an increased demand in weapons, especially from criminal gangs, there has been a downward trend in confiscated weapons between 2007 and 2010.

During 2012, Swedish Customs confiscated five rifles, 12 revolvers and 16 pistols, compared to a total of 700 weapons in 2010.

The report suggested that weapons are mostly arriving from the Balkans, often in connection with the smuggling of other illegal items such as drugs.

“There are no indications that there is any organized or large scale smuggling of weapons to Sweden," said Therese Mattson, head of Swedish Customs during the press conference.

Meanwhile, police are still concerned about the large number of illegal weapons in the country.

“We haven't seen a major influx but there are too many illegal weapons in Sweden. And they're shared and used by several individuals,” Klas Friberg, the head of Sweden's national crime unit, told TT.

TT/The Local/og

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