ASUNCION – Three suspects have been arrested in connection with the discovery of an arsenal of large-caliber firearms at a house in Asuncion, the Paraguayan National Anti-Drug Secretariat said Thursday.
The firearms were smuggled into Paraguay from Argentina, Bolivia and the United States, and were to be sold to criminal organizations in Brazil, the secretariat said.
Assault rifles, rifles, detonators, silencers and ammunition were among the items seized in the raid, the secretariat said.
The firearms were found during a search on Wednesday of a house in the capital.
One of the suspects arrested in the operation is the leader of an organization that provides weapons to gangs in Brazil, the secretariat said.
The most military weapons were brought into Paraguay from Bolivia and Argentina, while the civilian firearms entered from the United States, the secretariat said in a statement.
The operation was staged as part of the investigation into a shootout last weekend between police and gunmen traveling in an armored vehicle in Pedro Juan Caballero, a city on the border with Brazil.
The armed suspects abandoned the vehicle and managed to get away from police.
Investigators are examining the firearms and the operation is ongoing, the secretariat said.