Lebanese citizens planning to traffic weapons acting in favour of terrorist-risk groups

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The Romanian and Lebanese citizens accused by the prosecutors with the Directorate for the Investigation of Organised Crimes and Terrorism (DIICOT) were planning to traffic weapons in favour of groups of citizens located in areas known to have a high terrorist-risk degree, the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) spokesman Sorin Sava told on Wednesday.

‘It is about a case having been monitored by the SRI since October 2012 till April 2013 with a view to dismantling a criminal group coordinated by a Lebanese citizen aiming to procure weapons and ammunition as well as conducting illegal migration activities. The weapons and ammunition are listed as products subject to destination and they were to be delivered to an outer entity that would not have an end-user’s certificate. The action is associated with terrorism. The persons were acting in favour of groups of citizens in areas known to have a high-terrorist risk degree. The SRI, by the action it has conducted as early as since last year, has tried to stop such weapons trafficking’, Sava said.

The DIICOT prosecutors raided on Wednesday six homes in Craiova (246 km south-west of Bucharest) of the members of a group made up of Romanian and Lebanese citizens, charged with attempted terrorist acts, infringement of the weapons and ammunition regime and trafficking in human beings.

According to a DIICOT release, Hussein Kassem Ghzayel, 34, a citizen of Lebanon, made efforts to illegally procure several lethal military weapons (machine guns, mortars) and other military equipment for selling them to various military/paramilitary factions in Lebanon, Palestine and Syria.

The DIICOT charges also include the group members’ move to recruit and transport on Romania’s territory of citizens of Lebanese origin, under the cover of attending academic studies, in order to further smuggle them into Germany.

The inquiry was carried out jointly, with judiciary police officers from the Craiova-based Office for Combating Organised Crime, personnel from the Dolj County Police Inspectorate – the Service of Rapid Protection and Intervention and the IT support provided by Dolj SRI.

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