Weapons cache found in Amsterdam arrest
Three men were arrested by special police task forces in Amsterdam on Friday as part of a criminal investigation into the illegal possession of weaponry. The three were in possession of heavy firearms and grenades at the time of their arrest, police said Monday.
Various investigative teams were alerted and put in position when news of a pending weapons purchase was uncovered. The men were arrested in separate locations and are known to have encounters with police in the past.
In addition to the arrests, several raids were conducted in Amsterdam and police came up with a large weapons cache. In total, officers say they seized a pistol, an automatic pistol, various machine guns, shotguns, hand grenades and a number of bulletproof vests.
"The focus was on detection and prosecution of criminals. We have thus achieved good results, but also see that this does not stop the violence," said police Head of Operations Hanneke Ekelmans. That is why last year the mayor, public prosecutor and local police chief decided "that our focus will not only be on detection, but also on stopping and disrupting the activities of serious criminals. We see an increase in the use of automatic firearms and that is very worrying." Ekelmans said.
The investigation is still ongoing and the police is running shooting tests with the confiscated firearms to determine whether they were used in previous crimes.