Spanish police bust ring illegally exporting defense material to Saudi Arabia

Spanish police bust ring illegally exporting defense material to Saudi Arabia

Company allegedly sold military vehicle parts worth more than $3M

By Alyssa McMurtry

OVIEDO, Spain (AA) - Spain’s Interior Ministry said on Thursday that police have busted a ring involved in illegally exporting defense material to Saudi Arabia.

The network allegedly exported tank engines and other combat vehicle parts for a value of more than €2.8 million ($3.03 million).

The tanks and other military vehicles the company served were later operated by Saudi forces in Yemen, according to the statement.

The ring not only evaded Spain’s defense export controls and licensing processes, according to the Interior Ministry, but also flouted UN Security Council resolutions related to the war in Yemen.

One man has been arrested and several others are under investigation, according to Spain’s Interior Ministry.

The investigation also revealed that besides supplying military equipment, the company offered technical assistance to modernize “numerous” armored vehicles in the Saudi armed forces.

“This intervention has not only prevented the company under investigation from continuing to illegally export military materials without any type of control … but also prevented these materials from being sent to military conflicts, such as the one in Yemen, or to other countries in the Middle East,” the ministry said.

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