Weapons sent to help Ukraine may end up in the wrong hands, experts warn

Arms for Ukraine
Good intentions, bad outcomes
The head of Interpol speaks
Arms trafficking
Small arms and light weapons
Bank robberies with javelins
After the war
The mafias await the low-price sales season
Gotta get those guns back
Strengthening of criminal gangs
A global black market
Criminals are already on the move
International cooperation needed
Track and trace
All kinds of weapons
The West keeps sending weapons
Afghanistan: a recent example
Arms for Ukraine

Every war leads to a tremendous increase in arms trade. The conflict in Ukraine is no exception, but experts have warned about the dangers it entails.

Good intentions, bad outcomes

The good intentions of many countries in sending weapons to Ukraine to defend itself against Russia may have unintended consequences.

The head of Interpol speaks

Jürgen Stock, head of Interpol (in the photo), said weapons sent to Ukraine after Russia’s invasion in February will end up in the global hidden economy and in the hands of criminals.

Photo: Interpol

Arms trafficking

"The high availability of weapons during the current conflict will result in the proliferation of illicit weapons in the post-conflict phase," said Jürgen Stock, according to The Guardian.

Small arms and light weapons

Nils Duquet, director of the Flemish Peace Institute has also warned: "There are very significant risks associated to the proliferation of weapons in Ukraine at the moment, in particular regarding small arms and light weapons", he said to AFP.

Bank robberies with javelins

"We'll be laughing on the other side of our faces once we're seeing bank robberies with Javelins", Duquet added, referring to the US-made anti-tank missiles.

After the war

The main problem is that the countless weapons sent to Ukraine will not be returned to their countries of origin when the conflict ends.

The mafias await the low-price sales season

Most likely, according to the head of Interpol, the weapons destined for Ukraine will end up in the hands of mafias, sold on the black market and, surely, end up in the hands of criminals.

 

Gotta get those guns back

Jürgen Stock's notice, in addition to being informative, includes a request to the same countries that have sent weapons: just as they have sent them, they will have to cooperate for their recovery.

Strengthening of criminal gangs

The European criminal gangs may see their power increased in terms of weapons, as happened when the Soviet Union collapsed and the mafias were able to access weapons which until then were only intended for military purposes.

A global black market

"We can expect an influx of weapons into Europe but we have to expect these weapons to be shipped not only to neighboring countries but to other continents",  explained Jürgen Stock.

Photo: Interpol

Criminals are already on the move

In fact, Jürgen Stock warns that "criminals are already focusing on it", warning of movements to collect weapons, even with the war still at a critical point.

International cooperation needed

How does Interpol suggest that this problem be worked on? For now, as a team. "No country can do it in isolation because these groups operate at a global level," so the challenge involves the entire international community.

Track and trace

Jürgen Stock said Interpol urged members to use its database to help “track and trace” the weapons. “We are in contact with member countries to encourage them to use these tools”, he said.

All kinds of weapons

"Criminals are interested in all kinds of weapons. Basically any weapon that can be used for criminal purposes," said Jürgen Stock.

The West keeps sending weapons

Last week, US president, Joe Biden, announced the US would supply Kyiv with advanced missile systems and munitions.

Afghanistan: a recent example

When the United States left Afghanistan in August 2021, much of the weapons sent to the country ended up in the hands of the Taliban or sold on the illegal market. Still, they haven’t changed their strategy.

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