According to the FSB, in almost three dozen underground workshops, craftsmen were engaged in the modernization of weapons and the manufacture of ammunition. They found 222 units of firearms of domestic and foreign production. All of it was withdrawn from illegal circulation.
According to Kommersant, a special operation to identify clandestine gunsmiths was carried out in Moscow, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachay-Cherkessia, North Ossetia, Ingushetia, Transbaikal, Stavropol, Primorsky, Krasnoyarsk and Khabarovsk territories, Belgorod, Vladimir, Vologda, Ulyanovsk, Kostromskaya, Novosibirsk, Pskov, Tver, Sverdlovsk, Smolensk and Chelyabinsk regions.
A month earlier, security officials shut down 37 illegal workshops in 28 regions of Russia, seizing 251 firearms. 72 suspects were detained for committing crimes related to illegal arms trafficking.
As previously reported by Novye Izvestia, in the Kostroma city of Galich, the security forces managed to track down a whole family of underground gunsmiths. A 41-year-old local resident came to the attention of operatives thanks to the regular purchases of ammunition and parts of firearms. When the police raided the house of the suspect and his immediate family, they found a whole arsenal there.
“The components of a Makarov pistol and a Kalashnikov assault rifle, more than 200 cartridges of various calibers, a device for their manufacture, as well as bullets, cartridges, gunpowder and special literature on small arms business were seized at the gunsmith’s house”, - a representative of the regional Ministry of Internal Affairs Alexander Dugarev told Novye Izvestia.
Having visited the suspect's father, the operatives found a 1937 pistol in his apartment, which, according to the experts, was in working order. During interrogation, the owner of an underground workshop admitted that he developed a passion for weapons during his military service, and after the end of his military career, he allegedly brought something for himself "as a keepsake". His father allegedly acquired a collection sample of the German Luger-Parabellum for inheritance.
However, the evidence found at the gunsmiths and the information received from the Main Criminal Investigation Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia made the operatives doubt the versions of the inheritance and "nostalgic reserves." In relation to the family of clandestine gunsmiths, three criminal cases were opened at once, on the grounds of crimes under Art. 222 (Illegal acquisition, transfer, sale, storage, transportation or carrying of weapons, their main parts, ammunition) and Art. 222.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Illegal acquisition, transfer, sale, storage, transportation or carrying of explosives or explosive devices). If the suspects are proven guilty in court, they face up to eight years in prison and a large fine.