Criminals import automatic firearms from Slovakia

Hundreds of guns have been bought abroad and converted to lethal weapons for use in Sweden, because of a loophole in the law, reports Swedish Radio.

Reporters bought an AK47 in a market in Slovakia's capital of Bratislava. They discovered that a 26-year-old convicted gang member from Malmö has bought 15 pistols from Slovakia, all of which are feared to have been made ready to fire, and sold on.

Such weapons are legal to buy in this country, unlike across most of the EU. The firearms have been deactivated, with a piece of metal inserted into the barrel, and are sold for recreational use, to shoot blanks.

Then when the legally bought firearm has been imported to Sweden it can be made ready to shoot bullets by the removal of the piece of metal.

"It's a big proportion of guns that are from Slovakia, and it's a huge problem, of course," says Petter Norman at the customs office for southern Sweden.