Monday, 3 July 2017

Portuguese president speaks out over stolen weapons arsenal

Days after weapons and explosives were taken from a military warehouse in Portugal, the scale of the theft is becoming clear.

A Spanish website has revealed an extensive list of grenades, ammunition and explosives seized from the Tancos site, north-east of Lisbon.

President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has called for a no-holds-barred investigation into the raid.

Links to arms thefts in other Nato states should be looked at, he added.

There was no mention of which other countries he had in mind.

The theft was discovered on 28 June and details were passed on to Portugal's Nato allies.

The burglary is thought to have taken place at night at a part of the security perimeter where closed-circuit cameras had been broken for over two years.

The Portuguese defence minister initially described the raid as "serious", but the size of the missing arsenal only emerged when El Español (in Spanish) published what it said was a list of the stolen armaments. Among the weapons taken were:

  • 1,450 9mm ammunition cartridges
  • 150 hand grenades
  • 44 anti-tank grenades
  • 18 tear gas grenades
  • 102 explosive charges
  • 264 pieces of plastic explosive
    El Español said it had seen the list after it was handed to Spain's anti-terror forces.

    President de Sousa said a far-reaching investigation should look into the "facts and responsibilities" and called for measures to be taken to prevent such a theft "of increasing seriousness" from happening again.

    BBC     News.

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