German accused of smuggling gun parts out of factory goes on trial
A longtime employee of a weapons factory in the western German town of Arnsberg is facing charges that he smuggled out gun parts, assembled them at home and sold functional weapons for years.
The trial of the 47-year-old man starts on Thursday morning.
German police have repeatedly found unregistered weapons that were traced back to parts smuggled out of the Arnsberg company, Umarex.
After security measures at the company were tightened, the suspect was caught trying to smuggle out a pistol barrel.
Umarex CEO Eyck Pflaumer told local daily Westfalenpost that security at the plant was “tighter than at airports.”
Authorities say that by the time of his arrest, the man had sold at least 70 small arms — including an automatic machine gun — to a 27-year-old person from Menden in the Sauerland region.
The latter is said to have sold them to the other defendants from Bielefeld, Hagen, Bochum and Attendorn — all towns in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Investigators say the weapons were used in three attempted homicides in the biker scene.
Five other men, who are accused of having acquired the weapons and traded them, are also facing charges of possession of illegal weapons.