Many of Western arms in Ukraine will end up in black market: Interpol
The International Criminal Police Organization, or Interpol, has warned that many of the arms being sent by the West to Ukraine will ultimately end up in criminal hands in Europe and beyond.
Interpol Secretary General Juergen Stock sounded the alert on Wednesday, more than three months after Russia began a military offensive in Ukraine that prompted a raging flood of arms from the United States and its European allies into the ex-Soviet country.
“The high availability of weapons during the current conflict will result in the proliferation in illicit arms in the post-conflict phase,” he said, urging countries to start scrutinizing arms-tracking databases.
Interpol fears that such a huge flow of arms to Ukraine will only empower organized crime groups that have become increasingly involved in global operations, capable of exploiting the chaos created after the onset of the war in Ukraine.
A number of European countries, including France and Germany, along with the US, have so far shipped tons of military equipment, artillery munitions, and guns with a declared aim of helping Ukraine against the Russian troops.
“This will come, I have no doubts... Criminals are already now, here as we speak, focusing on that,” Stock told the Anglo-American Press Association in Paris, where he traveled to from Interpol’s headquarters in Lyon, southeast France.
His remarks came just a day after US President Joe Biden announced that Washington would now send “more advanced rocket systems and munitions” to Ukraine.
Stock further warned that even the heavy weapons used by the military would be available on the criminal market.
“We are already encouraging member countries, we have a database on sharing information on weapons, to use these databases because no region or country can deal with it in isolation,” he added, stressing, “The criminals I’m talking about are operating globally, so these weapons will be exchanged across continents.”