Police seize 100kg 'Bosnian' explosives in France

3rd April 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 4 (AFP) - A haul of some 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of Semtex explosives seized at the weekend by French police in the northern town of Hazebrouck came from Bosnia and was destined for the criminal underground, justice officials said Monday.

PARIS, April 4 (AFP) - A haul of some 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of Semtex explosives seized at the weekend by French police in the northern town of Hazebrouck came from Bosnia and was destined for the criminal underground, justice officials said Monday.

Five people were detained after the Czech-made explosives, along with a stock of detonators, were found on Saturday concealed in a lorry containing metal parts bound for a company in the area.

Three were arrested at the scene and two others - the suspected purchasers of the Semtex - were detained later in Paris. The ring-leader was a former Bosnian soldier, Le Parisien newspaper reported.

The seizure was ordered by a Paris magistrate as part of an investigation opened last month into organised crime. According to sources close to the enquiry, the explosives were due to be delivered to Paris, but the judge decided to take preemptive action.

The explosives may have come from Bosnian army stocks, justice officials said. They were brought by road to France via Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Germany and Belgium.

Police have long expressed concern that supplies of arms and explosives reaching criminal gangs in France are being supplied from the former Yugoslavia.

A kilogram of Semtex can fetch up to EUR 4,000 (USD 5,150) on the black market, Le Parisien said. Investigators believe Saturday's haul was to be divided up and sold off in bits.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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