North Macedonia police report breaking up firearms ring

Police in North Macedonia have arrested nine people suspected of belonging to a crime ring that converted flare guns into lethal weapons and sold them on the black market.

The arrests followed a series of raids Monday at 13 locations in the capital of Skopje, the western town of Tetovo and the northern town of Kumanovo.

A police news release said the suspects allegedly had a workshop in Skopje and sold the reconfigured weapons for up to 400 euros ($450) each.

The release says officers confiscated 16 handguns, an automatic rifle and ammunition of various calibers during the raids.

If convicted, the suspects face sentences of up to 10 years in prison for breaches of North Macedonia's firearms laws.