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MOSCOW, April 17. /TASS/. Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has shut down an illegal gun-running pipeline from Ukraine and European Union (EU) countries to Russia, the FSB reported on Monday.
"The Federal Security Service of Russia together with Russia’s Interior Ministry has thwarted the unlawful activity of an interregional ring complicit in organizing a conduit of weapons supplies from EU countries and Ukraine to the Russian Federation," the department’s press office stated.
"Required investigative measures have been taken against 54 members of this ring, exposed in 24 Russian regions," the law enforcement agency’s press office said.
Russia’s security services have seized 232 arms from the gun runners, including 18 machine-guns, 43 assault rifles, 29 pistols-machine-guns, 45 carbines and rifles, 97 pistols and revolvers and a WWII aircraft gun, the FSB press office said.
"As a result of measures that have been taken, operatives have withdrawn combat and modernized arms from illegal circulation, as well as weapons modified to recover their combat features," the press office said.
The security services have also seized over 16,000 pieces of ammunition of various calibers, 15 fragmentation hand grenades, over 21 kilograms of explosives, plant-based narcotic drugs, and also fraudulent permits and licenses for firearms.
"The activity of three workshops for the production and upgrading of firearms has been shut down," the FSB press office said.
"Additional operational search and investigation are underway to procedurally record the unlawful activity of the criminal ring’s members, and also measures continue to break up other pipelines for delivering arms and their components from abroad," the FSB press office said.