Updated 4:47 p.m. Moscow Time
MOSCOW, September 24 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) said Wednesday it has arrested a group of arms traffickers who smuggled weaponry from Ukraine and the European Union to the country.
According to the FSB statement, the leader of the group was arrested on September 19 in the Moscow region while other members of the gang were detained in six other regions of the country.
"As a result of the operation, four underground "repair shops," where the criminals modified the weaponry and manufactured ammunition for "altered" firearms have been shut down," the statement said.
"FSB operatives seized 136 pieces of weaponry, including modified WWII mortars, machine-guns, handguns, assault rifles, knives, various types of ammunition and explosives," the document said.
The withdrawn weapons have been sent for technical and ballistic examination.
On September 22, Crimean police and FSB operatives blocked a smuggling channel in the region and arrested two suspects involved in arms trading.
The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation is the country's principal security agency, preceded by the KGB (USSR Committee of State Security). It employs up to 300,000 people and was formed in 1995.