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Italy arrests Iranians as "spies"

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Italy arrests Iranians as "spies"


Five Italians and two Iranians police believe are members of the secret service have been arrested in Italy. One is the Rome correspondent of Iranian TV. Two other Iranians are on the run.

All are accused of involvement in an illegal arms smuggling ring in contravention of an international arms embargo on Iran.

The weapons were bought in Germany and then often shuffled via shell companies through the Czech republic and Romania before being sent for shipment from Italy.

“The material, weapons and ‘dual use’ objects whose sale is forbidden were not directly sent to Iran. This is because it would have been forbidden and thus immediately uncovered. They were ‘triangled’ through various stops in London, Romania, Switzerland and the United Emirates,” said Armando Spataro of Milan’s public prosecutor’s office.

The seized material included large quantities of tracer ammunition, hi-tech gunsights, body armour, firebombs and explosives.

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