The table below illustrates the known different types of arms trades that have occured within European. The type and quantity of the commodities in question are provided and they are combined with the believed circumstances of use. After reading the information, you may be alarmed at the severity and scope of the firearms problem in a so called civil region !

Type & quantity of weapons
Circumstances and [mis] use
Source of info / data

12,000 AK-47s [ to Macedonia]

6,000 [to Kosova]

1,500 [to Greece]*

Recent government figures indicate 517,000 weapons were stolen following looting of military depots across the country in 1997. A significant number are thought to have been trafficked to Kosova and elsewhere. **   * Castle. R. and Musah, 1998; ** provided by Kushti, N, Pubic Awareness Information Officer for the UNDP project in Albania to S. Shropshire
  64 Kalashnikov rifles, 45 assault rifles, 19 automatic weapons. Confiscated by Albanian police along with grenades and rockets from two Greek citizens attempting to smuggle the weapons out of the country. 02/1998 FE/RL Newsline, 9 February 1998.
  1,000 Kalashnikovs and unspecified number of Albanian-mademachine guns. Seized in Albania. The arms were apparently headed for Kosovo. 07/1998 RFE/RL Newsline, 21 July 1998.
  500 Kalashnikov machine guns. Three trucks filled with arms were stopped by police in Fushe Kruja, in central Albania. Hundreds of boxes of cartridges, grenades and mortars were also seized. 05/1998 RFE/RL Newsline, 5 May 1998.
  50 submachine guns. A cache of weapons smuggled from Albania and intended for Kosovo was seized by Macedonian police. Over 100 grenades, 17,000 cartridges and a large amount of explosives were also seized. July 1998 Itar-Tass, 2 July 1998.
Austria 280 sub-machine guns. 180 were seized from a ring of illegal arms dealers. 100 remain unaccounted for. The authorities think they were probably sold off to the Vienna criminal underworld. 04 / 1988 FBIS Daily Report, Ring of Arms Dealers 'Busted'; More Than 180 Arms Seized, April 1998.
  205 pistols. Authorities thwarted an attempt to smuggle 205 Yugoslavian pistols from Austria to Rotterdam via Germany. A Bulgarian citizen acted as a 'middleman'.   International Study on Firearms Regulation database, August 1999.
  43 pistols. An arms dealer from an arms shop in Vienna had given 43 pistols, brand CZ, caliber 6,35 mm, to a gunsmith in Carinthia. The gunsmith intended to sell the pistols to a Yugoslavian citizen.   International Study on Firearms Regulation database, August 1999.
  30 handguns. In the course of two legal arms deliveries from an Austrian firm to a firm in Germany 30 pieces of short firearms were stolen. It is not known at which point along the transit route the arms were stolen.   International Study on Firearms Regulation database, August 1999.
  40 rifles. These high precision rifles manufactured in Austria were confiscated by Italian police in the port of Trieste. The guns were in a truck with an Albanian driver and had been driven from Luzern, Switzerland. A Swiss dealer admitted to having sold the guns to four Yugoslavs who are thought to have been intending to traffic the weapons to Albania. The serial numbers of the guns had been erased. 1999 FBIS Daily Report, Arms Smugglers Exposed, 20 May 1999.
Belarus n.a. 708 persons were convicted for bearing, possessing, acquiring, manufacturing or selling forearms without official authorization over this 18 month period. 01/1994 to 06 /1995 International Study on Firearms Regulation database, August 1999.
Belgium Hand guns and rifles unspecified quantity and type. Arms and drugs trafficker Geda Mezozy, now in prison in Belgium, supplied firearms to night clubs in Spain and Belgium. Mezozy favored weapons from Eastern Europe and the Balkans.   Peleman, J, 1998, "A Case Study of the Southern Balkans"presentation at a workshop in Vienna organized by the governments of Canada, Switzerland, Norway and the Netherlands, "Small Arms and Light Weapons: An Issue for the OSCE", Vienna, 9-10 November 1998.
  6 Kalashnikov rifles, 1 Scorpion machine pistol, unspecified number of handguns. Police uncovered an arms smuggling ring near Liege and seized the weapons which were all of Eastern European origin. The weapons were destined for overseas markets. March 1998 Reuters, 17 March 1998.
Bulgaria $25 million of light weapons and small arms [surface-to-air missiles, AK-47/74s] Transferred to Croatia. 1993 Castle. R. and Musah, 1998.
  Assault rifles, machine guns and handguns unspecified quantity. A number of illegal weapon production workshops were discovered in Kazanluk. Underground storage facilities were full of ammunition and handguns of various calibres. The homes of those arrested had been turned into small factories with modern equipment for producing weapons. Most of the weapons were being sold very cheaply on the country's black market. Recently produced Kalashnikovs and Makarov handguns, without registration numbers, were seized during the operation. An AK-M machine gun was also seized.   FBIS Daily Report, "Illegal Weapon Producing Shops Discovered in Kazanluk" April 3 1998.
Czech Republic 300 T-65 rifles. The guns, destined for criminal gangs in Honduras were trafficked from the Czech republic. Honduras' Military Chief denied accusations that Honduran troops in the Czech Republic were responsible. 1997 Castle. R. and Musah, 1998.
  13,900 sub machine guns.

Authorities uncovered an attempt to export 5700 sub-machine guns model 61 on a counterfeit certificate of the armed forces of the Dominican Republic, and a counterfeit certificate of the Sudan Ministry of Defense for purchase of 8200 sub-machine guns mode l 61.

Weapons are legally purchased from the manufacturer or from the Army of the Czech Republic and then are illegally sold to non-existing, fictitious firms. Counterfeit documents are used. These weapons are consequently sold in the domestic market.

  International Study on Firearms Regulation database, August 1999.
Estonia 1600 pistols. The consignment of smuggled arms were seized by Estonian customs officers and were en route to St. Petersburg according to officials. The weapons were in boxes indicated in the customs declaration as containing macaroni each and described in the declaration as a transit cargo.   FBIS Daily Report, 23 July 1996.
  Revolvers and pistols unspecified quantity. Several criminal groups in Estonia specialize in trading arms mostly from Russia to former CIS states. Pistols, automatic weapons and revolvers originating from Russia, Poland, Germany, Finland and Ukraine are Trans-shipped via Narva (land) Tallinn (sea, air), Ikla (land) for illegal re-export to the CIS countries. Firearms, mostly pistols and revolvers are also smuggled into Estonia from Poland Germany, Finland destined for criminals and individuals.   International Study on Firearms Regulation database, August 1999.
Finland 1,310 handguns and pump action shotguns. The headquarters chief of financial affairs is suspected by police of being the mastermind of illicit deals. Approximately 1,310 weapons have been sold illegally, 800 of these are still missing.. According to the Estonians, the deal was based on an order for supplementary weapons that was fabricated at headquarters. Purchasers were able to choose from Smith & Wessons, Argentinean FMs, or Chinese NZ. Senior police investigator Pauli Mattila,. "The control was the responsibility of the receiving country". The arms have been delivered in small shipments, One shipment of 50 was just about to depart when the Central Criminal Police contacted the company two weeks . 1995 FBIS Report "Illegal Sales at Estonian Headquarters of Arms Purchased in Finland", 26 Sep 1995.
  40,000 handguns and 25,000 assault rifles. Then Interior Minister, Heiki Arike, granted a gun shop owned by acquaintances a permit to import 25,000 Kalashnikov assault weapons, and 40,000 Tokarev military handguns from Poland and Austria. These weapons have disappeared, with only occasional, single guns turning up in the hands of criminals. 1994 FBIS Report "Illegal Sales at Estonian Headquarters of Arms Purchased in Finland", 26 Sep 1995.
  Unspecified quantity and type. January 1995, 130 firearms, including bazookas and hand grenades, were confiscated from Finnish chapters of the Hell's Angels and Banditos motorcycle gangs.   International Study on Firearms Regulation database, August 1999.
  2,000 handguns. Illegalities have been observed in the export especially to Estonia and Russia. In certain cases, the order documents of the Estonian Defense Forces and civil guards have been forged. It can be estimated that on the basis of export in 1993 - 1994, about 2.000 short handguns have ended up in the hands of criminals in Estonia and Russia. One case involved about 30 short handguns that transported from Czechoslovakia to Estonia via Finland. 1993-95 International Study on Firearms Regulation database, August 1999.
France 100 weapons unspecified type. A big arms trafficking ring between Strasbourg, the Paris region, and Corsica was broken up and 100 weapons seized. 1998 Paris France-2 Television Network, 1800 GMT 30 Apr 98
Germany Unspecified quantity and type In one major case associated with the withdrawal of the Western Group of the former Soviet army from the territory of the former GDR, Russian military personnel actively sought black markets to sell whatever property they could find a buyer for. Weapons were smuggled into former Yugoslavia. Weapons were also sold to civilians and collectors. Arms dealers purchased an unknown quantity of firearms and ammunition. 1993-95 International Study on Firearms Regulation database, August 1999.
Kaliningrad Army surplus (quantity unknown). Free-enterprise zone in area facilitated the sale of a stockpile of surplus Russian army weapons.   Observer, August 16, 1992.
Kosova Assault rifles and pistols. The KLA are alleged to have set up arms bazaar in bars around Kosova. A UK journalist reports being offered guns including AK-47s for 150 German marks, Browning semi-automatic pistols for DM80. The traffic is now reaching the UK according to the reporter who alleges AKM and AK-74 assault rifles, explosives, RPG-7 rocket-propelled grenades, M2HB Browning heavy machine guns and Claymore anti-personnel mines were being touted round London. The Foreign Office and Customs and Excise are not aware of any trafficking to the UK. 1999 The Independent (Internet version) "Western Europe KLA Accused of Selling Weapons", London, 16 Aug 99.
Macedonia 11 automatic weapons. Police arrested ten people and confiscating a large quantity of weapons including: 11 automatic guns, 6 grenades and 1,177 rounds of ammunition. The weapons are believed to have been smuggled in from Albania. January 1998 Reuters, ' 22January 1998.
Poland Unspecified quantity and type. Guns with a recorded criminal history may be bought for 200 zlotys. Arms that have not been registered by police cost a few thousand zlotys. Criminal 'accessories' are delivered to Poland across the western and southern border. A majority of victims of organized crime die from 9-mm bullets. Among guns of this caliber confiscated by police, P-64 type, P-83 type, Czech-produced CZ type, Russian-produced "makarov" type and TZ type constitute a dominant part.   FBIS Daily Report, "Gangsters' Armory", January 1999.
  Several dozen pistols and rifles from the US and Canada. Officers of the General Customs Inspectorate [GIC] intercepted the arms on entry into Poland in parcels sent by poast from the United States and Canada. These were used firearms and were thought to be destined for criminal gangs active within Poland. Polish Customs Police said they suspected that firearms could have been being smuggled in this way for several years before being noticed. 1996 FBIS Daily Report 4 Nov 1996.
    In Cieszyn, a Polish citizen was detained while crossing the Czech-Polish border. 800 pieces of ammunition type "Browning" and "Langer" were found in his car. The ammunition was smuggled from the Czech Republic.   International Study on Firearms Regulation database, August 1999.
  5 pistols German custom officers detained a Polish citizen who was crossing the Polish-German border by taxi, with five pistols, 5 magazines and 9mm ammunition. The alleged recipients were Poles staying in Germany. 1996 International Study on Firearms Regulation database, August 1999.
  11 pistols 11 pistols and revolvers were stolen from a gun shop. The thieves had intended on smuggling the firearms to Germany and then to sell them to Dutch and German citizen of Turkish nationality. 1996 International Study on Firearms Regulation database, August 1999.
  9 pistols and rifles Police in Warsaw detained a man who was offering for sale FN 910 pistols and Mauser pistols, ammunition and hand-grenades. Investigations resulted in the seizure 9 handguns and long guns. 1994-96 International Study on Firearms Regulation database, August 1999.
Slovakia 4 machine guns, 6 handguns and 1 semi automatic rifle. The Regional Police Force Directorate (KR PZ) seized this arsenal of weapons from citizens in the Kosice region in Eastern Slovakia. Sept 1998 FBIS Daily Report, 8 Sep 1998.
Sweden 500 - 1000 firearms unspecified type. The National Police Board estimates that 500 to 1000 firearms are brought illegally into Sweden every year. About 1500 firearms are reported lost or stolen in Sweden every year. It could be assumed that some of these firearms are exported from Sweden for the purpose of illegal sale abroad.   International Study on Firearms Regulation database, August 1999.
Turkey 250,000 AK-47's Sold to Turkey after the reunification of Germany and subsequently quietly spread throughout central Asia and the Middle East. 1990's Asia Week, June 2, 1993; Lock, P., 1998.
  27 handguns Belgian Czech and Argentine origin. Seized by Turkish police in Sirnak/TR. 11 of the weapons were made in Belgium, 15 in the Czech republic and one from Argentina. March 1996 International Study on Firearms Regulation database.
  50 hand guns of Czech, Belgian, Spanish, Italian and Argentine origin. Seized by Turkish Police in Sirnak/TR. 24 were of Czech Republic origin, 6 Belgian, 1 Argentine, 4 Iraqi, 10 Spanish, 1 Italian, 4 unknown. April 1996 International Study on Firearms Regulation database, August 1999
  43 hand guns of Czech, Belgian, Spanish, Italian, French, German and Argentine origin. Seized by Turkish police in Afyon/TR. 8 were of Czech Republic origin, 4 Belgian, 2 Spanish, 7 Italian, 6 French, 2 German, 1 Argentine, and 8 unknown. 5 were hand-made hand guns. These handguns were hidden in private sections of cars and smuggled into Turkey by road from northern Iraq. February 1996 International Study on Firearms Regulation database, August 1999
Ukraine-Siberia Commodity Exchange $2 Billion worth of war material. Although The Exchange alleges to require buyers be licensed and for the weapons to be destined for outside of any former Soviet republic, the primary requirement for buyers is believed to be money only. 1990's Financial Times, April 29, 1992, February 6, 1993 and Commersant, June 9, 1992.
United Kingdom Between 73 and 100 Mac-10 machine pistols* A gun dealer legally imported deactivated MAC-10 machine pistols from the United States and converted them to fire live ammunition. The guns were sold through a criminal network complete with 9mm bullets and silencers. The dealer's contacts at a Kent gun club helped to distribute the weapons. Nineteen of the guns have been linked to crimes including a murder in Brixton, London. Others were found during drugs raids in Manchester, Liverpool and Dublin. Deactivated, the guns sell for 300 to collectors. The reactivated weapons were sold at 1,100 each. 1998

The Times, 'Gangland armourer facing long jail term', London, 21 January, 1999*

The article states 73 guns have recovered. In May 1999, officials from the UK Foreign Office indicated to S Shropshire that approx. 100 Mach 10s had been reactivated.

  AK47s Members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), allegedly arranged arms transfers with rogue intelligence officers in South Africa. The IRA members were later arrested for shipping AK-47s from Mozambique. 1998 Sunday Times, "IRA linked to African arms deal," 15 March 1998.
    Bulgarian suppliers were reportedly the source of a $1.5 million arms deal between UK company Sandline International, and Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, the overthrown President of Sierra Leone. 1998 Castle. R. and Musah, 1998.
  Unspecified quantity and type. A large quantity of arms - including guns, ammunition and explosive devices were seized from the home of an ex soldier. Police believed the weapons were destined for foreign mercenaries. November 1999 The Daily Mirror, 12 November 1999.
  82 handguns, 62 rifles, 124 shotguns. Total number of firearms seized during the 12 month. The majority of firearms seized were originally supplied in, or transited through, other EU Member States. 1994-95 International Study on Firearms Regulation database, August 1999.

(Source of tabled information : Illicit trafficking in firearms, Steve Shropshire SAFER-NEt and Wendy Cukier, President Coalition for Gun Control, for the Canadian Department for Trade and International Affairs, to be published April 2000).