Weapons linked with Paris attacks produced in Serbia: Factory
BELGRADE – Agence France-Presse
REUTERS photoSome of the arms believed to be used in last month’s deadly Paris attacks, were manufactured in Serbia’s arms factory, including one exported to the United States in 2013, a company official said on Dec. 11.
“A semi-automatic pistol PV M92 was produced in our factory and legally exported to the [Florida-based] company Century International Arms in May 2013,” Milojko Brzakovic, head of Zastava arms factory told AFP.
Following the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris, Serbia’s interior ministry was asked by French police and Interpol to check serial numbers of seven pieces of weapons believed to have been manufactured in Zastava, Brzakovic said.
“We were given numbers of weapons and confirmed that all had been manufactured in Zastava and we delivered information where these weapons ended up,” he said.
All serial numbers, including the semi-automatic pistol and several automatic rifles, versions of AK-47 known as Kalashnikov, matched the weapons legally produced and sold by our factory, he said.
“We have strictly controlled trade of arms and military equipment, nothing goes out of the factory without the approval of the Serbian government and export license,” Brzakovic insisted.
He had no explanation how the legally sold weapons, including the pistol exported to the US, ended up in the hands of attackers in Paris.
“These could be somehow followed, but the most difficult would be to track down the weapons that were in depots of the former Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) and territorial defense prior to the 1990s wars,” he said.
Most of the weapons linked with the Paris attacks were manufactured and sent to army barracks throughout communist Yugoslavia before its bloody break up in a series of wars in the 1990s.
According to Brzakovic, one rifle was delivered in 1983 to an army barrack in Bosnia, another to one in Macedonia in 1987, two were sent to army units in two Croatian towns and one in 1990 to a Slovenia’s military office.
One pistol CZ99 was sold to a local arms dealer in 1993.
German newspaper Bild reported last month that four assault rifles used in the Paris attacks that left 130 people dead had been allegedly purchased from a trafficker in Germany.
Quoting documents from the Stuttgart prosecutor’s office, the newspaper said two AK47s and two Zastava M70s were sold on November 7 by the arms dealer to a customer in Paris.