Arsenal of Military-Grade Firearms Found in Paris Suburbs

Closeup of a Kalashnikov MKK-104 assault rifle with bullets. 7.62x39 mm. Modern AK-47.
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Investigators found an arsenal of so-called military-grade weapons including explosives and detonators in the Paris suburbs of Val-de-Marne after raiding a local drug trafficking network.

The French anti-drug office OFAST came across the weapons in the commune of Limeil-Brévannes after dismantling the ten-man drug network, including Kalashnikov-type rifles, Heckler & Koch G3 rifles, M16 rifles, along with tripod stands and laser sighting equipment for the rifles.

16 magazines for the M16s were found along with 500 rounds of ammunition and a total of 1,300 cartridges of various calibres were found in the raid, French magazine Le Point reports. Such weapons are not generally held in civilian hands in France, where firearms laws

Samir Ider, the head of the trafficking network, who was said to not only be violent but also radicalised, had hidden 600 grams (1lb 5oz) of TNT explosive and 600 grams of pentaerythritol tetranitrate, which is used to make the explosive semtex, a preferred weapon of Islamist terrorists. He also had in his possession four detonators and three firing systems.

According to Le Point, French authorities had been investigating the network, which operated in the no-go Paris suburbs of Seine-Saint-Denis, for at least two years prior to dismantling it and said that 42-year-old Ider had been sentenced to 20 years in prison for cocaine importation in 2011.

Ider, along with his brother and eight others were brought before a court last week but despite the dismantling of the heavily armed network, it is unlikely drug dealing will disappear.

The commune of Saint-Ouen, where the network primarily operated and supplied drugs, would see at least 10-12,000 euros worth of drug deals per day.

The raid is not the first time military-grade weapons have been found in Paris’ no-go suburbs in recent years. In 2017, police found a cache of weapons that included an anti-tank bazooka along with sawn-off shotguns.

Later that year, investigators found another large arsenal of weapons in a garage outside the city of Chartres.

“The investigators seized seven weapons of war, including two loaded and ready-to-run M80 rocket launchers capable of destroying a tank, two Kalashnikovs, one Spanish assault rifle, two machine guns,” Republic of Chartres prosecutor Rémi Coutin said at the time.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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