SKOPJE, North Macedonia -- Police in North Macedonia have broken up a major criminal ring of drug, weapons and ammunition traffickers and arrested nine people, including a police officer, authorities said Wednesday.
Interior Ministry spokesman Toni Angelovski said the arrests followed raids on a dozen homes and other locations in the village of Aracinovo, near the capital Skopje, and in the central town of Sveti Nikole.
In an operation that followed months of preparations, police seized evidence including clips of ammunition for automatic rifles, bullets of different calibers, seven vehicles and several mobile phones.
Police said the suspected gang leaders, identified only by their initials as H.B., 54, and A.M., 44, headed an organized criminal group that operated for a long period in North Macedonia.
“During the months-long investigation, more than 20 cases of trafficking in drugs, weapons and ammunition have been documented, and a sufficient amount of evidence has been provided confirming their involvement,” Angelovski said.
He added that the group was connected with a similar gang whose 12 members were arrested in November last year.