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Trick and treat: Firearms diversion through fraud in the European Union

Trick and treat: Firearms diversion through fraud in the European Union
Firearms. Photo: Shutterstock

During their - often very long - lifecycle firearms can be diverted from the legal market into the illegal market through various types of fraudulent activities. In the European Union little systematic empirical research has been been undertaken on this type of diversion. This has resulted in a limited intelligence picture on firearms fraud. Project DIVERT analysed 45 of cases of firearms fraud and identified various subtypes of firearms fraud, such as the forging of authorisation to acquire or transfer firearms, the tampering with arms registers and false declarations of theft, loss or deactivation of firearms. While every year thousands of firearms are diverted this way, a more precise number of diverted firearms through fraud cannot be estimated since this type of fraud is often not detected and can involve very large quantities of firearms in specific diversion cases.

The webinar will be held in the context of Project DIVERT. SIPRI will be represented by Giovanna Maletta, Researcher in the Dual-Use and Arms Trade Control Programme.

The webinar includes several presentations on the main findings of Project DIVERT on firearms fraud. This presentation will be followed by the reflections of European firearms experts on these findings from a policy, law enforcement and research perspective.

Register here for the event.


About Project DIVERT

Project DIVERT is a research project, funded by the European Union’s Internal Security Fund — Police, which focuses on the diversion of live-firing firearms from the legal domain into the illicit sphere within the European Union. The project is coordinated by the Flemish Peace Institute. The other project partners are the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Europol, the Intelligence Centre Against Terrorism and Organized Crime (CITCO) of the Spanish Ministry of Interior Affairs and the Weapons Section of the Central Directorate for the Combat of Organised Crime (DJSOC) of the Belgian Federal Judiciary Police. More information about the project is available here.

Event contact (SIPRI)