Police crackdown nets over 2,000 illegal firearms

More than 2,000 illegal firearms and over 20 kilograms of explosive substances have been seized from or surrendered by their owners since last month’s subway bombing in Minsk that prompted the police to crack down on illegal possession of guns and explosives.

Speaking to reporters in Minsk on May 6, Deputy Interior Minister Yawhen Poludzen said that over 150 criminal cases had been opened in connection with illegal possession of weapons as a result of the crackdown.

The deputy minister warned that the crackdown would continue “until we see that we have seized all weapons possessed illegally.”

The three-week operation has netted as many firearms as are normally seized in the space of six months, he stressed.

Most of the guns seized from or handed in by people date back to World War II, but modern firearms have also been seized, Mr. Poludzen said.

The deputy minister noted that educational institutions kept a big number of firearms and other weapons without obtaining a permit from the police.

Mr. Poludzen announced that the interior and defense ministries would put the weapons and ammunition seized from the public on display to help people better identify suspicious devices discovered by them or their children. //BelaPAN