Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 19 September 2019

Belgian arms trafficker arrested in Portugal

Convicted arms dealer was caught through his enthusiasm for horses

Police in Belgium have announced they have caught a wanted arms dealer in Portugal. Alamy Stock Photo
Police in Belgium have announced they have caught a wanted arms dealer in Portugal. Alamy Stock Photo

A Belgian arms trafficker has been arrested in Portugal after almost a year on the run.

Jacques Monsieur, 66, was held at a large farmhouse near the Portuguese town of Evora on Wednesday evening, Belgian federal police said.

The Brussels Appeals Court sentenced him to four years in jail and a fine of €1.2 million (Dh4.9m) in October last year for illegal arms trafficking and taking part in a criminal organisation.

Monsieur was sentenced to 23 months in prison in the US in 2010 for trying to smuggle fighter jet parts to Iraq.

In 2002, a Brussels court sentenced Monsieur to more than three months behind bars for selling weapons including grenade launchers and missile parts to Iran, China, Ecuador, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia in the 1980s and 1990s.

His latest arrest came partly through his enthusiasm for horses after an unpaid €2,500-euro bill for transporting animals to Portugal put investigators on his trail.

Updated: August 16, 2019 01:20 AM

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