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One of the world’s largest arms dealers detained in Évora

One of the world's largest arms dealer detained in ÉvoraIt was a horse deal that led to the arrest of the infamous Belgian arms dealer, one of the largest in the world, Jacques Monsieur was found hiding in a shelter near Herdade do Zambujal, in Évora.

For the past 35 years he has been involved in many military conflicts. According to Belgian TV channel VTM television, there is no armed conflict that he has not been at least partly involved in.

Always a close collaborator with Iran, he was involved in the Iran-Contra and provided weapons to Tehran in the 1980s in the war against Iraq. Moreover, he sold automatic weapons, ammunition and even tanks, helicopters and airplanes to the Middle East between 2006 and 2009.

Jacques Monsieur, 66, was arrested near Évora at “a large country house”, where he had been hiding for almost a year, after being sentenced in 2018 to four years in prison in Belgium, alongside, a fine of €2 million for arms trafficking to Libya, Chad, Pakistan and Iran. This sentence was given after having appealed the first sentence – three years in prison and € 300,000 fine.

Monsieur is known to have a fondness of horses, which is ultimately what led to his arrest this week under a European mandate. He had a farm in France that he sold last March, and decided to transport nine horses from the farm to Portugal. It was the detection of an invoice of 2,500 euros for the transport of nine horses to Portugal and that were in France that allowed Belgian police to track Monsieur to Évora, working in close collaboration with the Portuguese and French police.

A Belgian police statement was revealed adding that the notorious individual was located thanks to “intense cooperation between Belgian, French and Portuguese investigators.”

According to the Belgian TV channel, VTM, Jacques Monsieur will be “present at a court in Portugal” today.