Spain’s national police have seized more than 10,000 firearms and 400 shells and grenades in raids in the northern part of the country, authorities announced Tuesday.
Police said that the arms were destined for gangs and terrorist groups, according to published reports.
The firearms included assault rifles, machine guns, pistols and revolvers.
Assisting in the operation, which was conducted in January as part of a crackdown on firearms trafficking, were counter-terror police from Madrid, Bilbao, Valencia and Gerona.
Police also stumbled upon a workshop near Bilbao set up to manipulate and reactivate decommissioned weapons, BBC reported.
Authorities seized about $90,000.
BBC reported that the criminals obtained the firearms and other weapons through auctions and other legal sources.
They used space that they pretended was a sports shop to distribute their weapons, authorities said.
Europol, the European Union’s intelligence agency, said it would have been relatively easy for organized crime groups or terrorists to obtain the weapons.
Europol said that in the last three years there has been a sharp rise in firearms and other weapons being sold to criminal enterprises.
Spain's national police said the traffickers "exploited legal loopholes and legislative differences between E.U. countries to divert guns from legal suppliers," according to NBC News.