Smugglers’ gang cracked down, 80 tonnes of explosives secured

An organised crime group smuggling a total of 80 tonnes of various types of fireworks worth EUR 5 mln were arrested in an international coordinated police strike in November.

The international police group including Polish, Dutch, French, Europol and Eurojust units arrested 35 individuals involved with smuggling operations of F4, T2 and P2 type pyrotechnics. In Poland alone, there were 350 officers engaged in this clampdown operation.

The gang was tracked down by the police from the Polish central city of Łódź. In the days following the clampdown, 50 more accomplices were arrested in Germany. The international smugglers’ group was found responsible for the illegal production of pyrotechnic materials and their smuggling into European states, mainly the Netherlands, Germany and the Scandinavian states.

The police found out that the gang was smuggling its products under the guise of legal trading companies. The group was also using Polish and foreign internet websites to sell their products.

According to investigators, the group had a leader assigning tasks to his subalterns while maintaining contact with the contractors and legalising incomes from illegal operations. The acquired money was then invested in luxurious cars and real estates.

The secured pyrotechnics fall under F4, T2 and P2 categories

Category F4 fireworks encompass firework bombs, Roman candles, aqua fireworks, suns, fountains, vertical wheels, fire pots, whereas category T2 pyrotechnic articles range from flashes, stage waterfalls, cord and rope rockets, squibs, to thunderflashes.

Regarding category P2, it consists of pyrotechnic articles: e.g. fuses, tape-matches, flash shells, modelling rocket motors, hail prevention and starling deterrent rockets and delayed fuses.