Iraqi Kurds carrying British passports arrested in Greece, along Turkish border | News | DW | 14.02.2016
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Iraqi Kurds carrying British passports arrested in Greece, along Turkish border

For the second time in two weeks, Greek police have arrested suspected arms smugglers along the Turkish border. One of the suspects was found to have 200,000 rounds of ammunition in his possession.

In two separate incidents, Greek police arrested three Iraqi Kurds with guns and huge caches of ammunition.

The men were carrying British passports, but police said they were working to verify the authenticity of the documents.

The men were found to have hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition and dozens of weapons in their possession.

One suspect, aged 39, had 200,000 cartridges and four pistols when he was arrested near the Turkish border, though it is uncertain if he was planning to cross the border.

Along the river

The other two, aged 22 and 28, had 18 rifles and 27,000 rounds of ammunition. They were also arrested in the eastern border town of Alexandroupoli, on the Evros River, after being under surveillance for several days.

An unnamed police official said the weapons were not combat rifles, but were more likely to be used for training purposes.

"We don't have any evidence to connect them with ISIS," he said. "We have informed Europol and Interpol."

The men are expected to appear in court either later Sunday or on Monday, to answer charges of weapons possession and smuggling.

The arrests come just two weeks after two men bearing Swedish passports were arrested in the same area carrying "combat material." They had flown to Greece from Sweden and were on a bus bound for Turkey.

One suspect, Mirsad Bektasevic, is presumed to be a jihadist of Bosnian origin. He was charged with "terrorist" activities along with an accomplice believed to be a Yemeni national.

bik/rc (Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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