Stolen guns found in traffic check
14 April 2005, AMSTERDAM — A police officer conducting a routine check at a carpooling zone in the South Holland province on Wednesday night discovered 200 pistols at the verge of the road.
14 April 2005
AMSTERDAM — A police officer conducting a routine check at a carpooling zone in the South Holland province on Wednesday night discovered 200 pistols at the verge of the road.
The Glock 17 handguns, which were in packing, are believed to be part of the haul taken from the high-security Gilze-Rijen airbase at the weekend.
When the theft was first reported in the media on Monday, it was said 100 to 150 Glock pistols had been taken.
A spokesperson for the military police, or Marechaussee, refused to say on Thursday how many weapons were in fact stolen, but said the "largest part" had been found by Wednesday's good fortune on the N217, which runs from Dordrecht to Spijkenisse, near Rotterdam.
The authorities have refused to comment further except to say no arrests have been made. A group of 25 officers are investigating the theft.
The main theory is that the gang had inside knowledge because they knew where to knock a hole in the base's armoury to get to the weapons.
The stolen Glock 17 pistols are the standard service weapon for the army and military police. The Austrian-made weapon is a 9mm semi-automatic handgun and is especially suited for close range combat.
The theft of the Glocks is one of the biggest such crimes in Dutch history. Earlier reports of vanished service weapons generally involved only a few guns at a time.
An estimated 300 Ingram MAC 11 machine pistols were stolen at the end of 1990s from the US Nato base at Coevordon in the north-east of the Netherlands.
This robbery was never confirmed by US authorities, but the weapons ended up in the hands of the Dutch underworld and IRA.
A weapon smuggling expert at Tilburg University, Toine Spapens, said the robbery at Gilze-Rijen was "considerable" and predicted that the weapons would end up in the underworld, but not necessarily in the Netherlands.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news