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Lyon, Oct 25, 2016 (AFP) – More than $460 million and some 300 weapons have been seized, mainly in Mexico, in a global anti-smuggling operation, Interpol said Tuesday.
“This operation has taken millions of dollars and hundreds of weapons out of the hands of organised crime and potentially terrorist groups as well,” Interpol Secretary General Juergen Stock said in a statement.
The four-week operation, codenamed Chimera, launched on September 19 and involved 70 countries. Stock said it “clearly shows what can be achieved through close cooperation”.
Focusing on express courier and mail services, the operation targeted the illicit trafficking of small arms, cash, cheques, traveller’s cheques, bearer bonds and postal orders.
Among the key seizures was a record interception of $450 million made by customs officers in Toluca, Mexico, said France-based Interpol, which coordinated the operation with the World Customs Organization (WCO).
Interceptions were made at key border points in the participating countries, Interpol said, without going into details.
Operation Chimera now moves into a second phase with the WCO and Interpol analysing the results so far in order to target the criminal networks behind the seized cash and weapons, the statement added.