Authorities in this southern Spanish port seized 22,272 pistols that were being smuggled in a container declared to be transporting textiles from Turkey to the East African nation of Djibouti.
The weapons, which could have fetched more than 2 million euros ($2.5 million) on the international arms market, were seized on Aug. 28 in what is considered to be the largest illegal arms shipment intercepted by Spanish customs authorities in recent years, the Civil Guard and the Spanish Tax Agency said.
Also being shipped in the container, along with the pistols, were 13,500 ammunition magazines.
Nobody was arrested in the customs operation, but the investigation into the matter is continuing in Spain, Turkey and Djibouti to determine where the guns came from and what their ultimate destination was intended to be.
The container's documentation declared that it contained textiles, but Spanish officials suspected that something was amiss and decided to open it and examine its contents with a scanner.
Within the container, behind and underneath a few cardboard boxes containing clothing were others containing the shipment of weapons. EFE