Philippine gun deals under scrutiny

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Philippine police glockAustrian gun maker Glock has been accused of supplying the black market in the Philippines with firearms in deals that were originally sealed with the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Over the past years, Glock delivered several batches of its highly demanded 9mm pistols to the PNP. The most recent deal was 12,000 pistols worth around $30 million ordered by the country’s police forces as a first shipment of the biggest firearms procurement of the PNP so far, delivered in February 2013.

The firearms are meant to be distributed to policemen in the 15 Philippines provinces listed as ‘high risk’, first of all some areas in Mindanao.

Glock has generally been denied authorisation to sell guns to the Philippines by Austrian interior and economy ministries due to the country’s poor security situation. However, the gun maker managed to get exceptional permission for some deals on the condition that the guns are solely delivered to the Philippine police forces and for every gun handed over a copy of the respective new owner’s police ID card has to be presented.

Those documents were delivered by Glock’s trade partner in the Philippines, Quezon City-based Trust Trade, one of the country’s largest firearm dealers operating gun stores all over the country, but were partly faked, Austrian authorities alleged. Further investigation of Trust Trade’s books showed that it has resold the guns to middlemen and individuals instead of handing them over to the police.

According to a document revealed by Wikileaks, the US administration is also of the opinion that Trust Trade has been using fake documents to import and resell guns in the Philippines and to third-party entities and countries.

The cable alleges that “Trust Trade has routinely falsified police certificates as the basis for importing large numbers of Glock handguns which it then diverts to the private market.” Police marks on the guns are being removed, it added.

The confidential cable also stated that there is reason to believe that high-ranking officials within the Philippine government and police force were involved in the deals.

Trust Trade so far has denied the allegations. The highly secretive Glock company did not issue any statement either.

Background:
Glock GmbH is an Austria-based firearms manufacturer with assembly plants in Austria and Smyrna, Georgia, US, as well as trade representations in Hong Kong, UAE and Uruguay. The company is reputed to have a two-thirds share of the US police market. Glock pistols assembled in Georgia, the company’s largest gun factory, remain ‘Austrian’ products, and re-export from the US is not authorised.

Glock pistols are semi-automatic guns with a polymer-frame, making them much lighter and easier to handle than metal guns. The guns are sold to police forces, troops and armed forces around the world, in the Philippines also to the National Bureau of Investigation, the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

The company’s founder is 83-year-old Gaston Glock, an engineer by profession who built up a multi-billion gun business. His plays a controversial role for many observers as his company, founded in 1982, has since been the target of a large number of investigations. In 1999, Glock survived a murder attempt by a hired French ex-mercenary in Luxembourg over a business dispute.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Austrian gun maker Glock has been accused of supplying the black market in the Philippines with firearms in deals that were originally sealed with the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Philippine police glockAustrian gun maker Glock has been accused of supplying the black market in the Philippines with firearms in deals that were originally sealed with the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Over the past years, Glock delivered several batches of its highly demanded 9mm pistols to the PNP. The most recent deal was 12,000 pistols worth around $30 million ordered by the country’s police forces as a first shipment of the biggest firearms procurement of the PNP so far, delivered in February 2013.

The firearms are meant to be distributed to policemen in the 15 Philippines provinces listed as ‘high risk’, first of all some areas in Mindanao.

Glock has generally been denied authorisation to sell guns to the Philippines by Austrian interior and economy ministries due to the country’s poor security situation. However, the gun maker managed to get exceptional permission for some deals on the condition that the guns are solely delivered to the Philippine police forces and for every gun handed over a copy of the respective new owner’s police ID card has to be presented.

Those documents were delivered by Glock’s trade partner in the Philippines, Quezon City-based Trust Trade, one of the country’s largest firearm dealers operating gun stores all over the country, but were partly faked, Austrian authorities alleged. Further investigation of Trust Trade’s books showed that it has resold the guns to middlemen and individuals instead of handing them over to the police.

According to a document revealed by Wikileaks, the US administration is also of the opinion that Trust Trade has been using fake documents to import and resell guns in the Philippines and to third-party entities and countries.

The cable alleges that “Trust Trade has routinely falsified police certificates as the basis for importing large numbers of Glock handguns which it then diverts to the private market.” Police marks on the guns are being removed, it added.

The confidential cable also stated that there is reason to believe that high-ranking officials within the Philippine government and police force were involved in the deals.

Trust Trade so far has denied the allegations. The highly secretive Glock company did not issue any statement either.

Background:
Glock GmbH is an Austria-based firearms manufacturer with assembly plants in Austria and Smyrna, Georgia, US, as well as trade representations in Hong Kong, UAE and Uruguay. The company is reputed to have a two-thirds share of the US police market. Glock pistols assembled in Georgia, the company’s largest gun factory, remain ‘Austrian’ products, and re-export from the US is not authorised.

Glock pistols are semi-automatic guns with a polymer-frame, making them much lighter and easier to handle than metal guns. The guns are sold to police forces, troops and armed forces around the world, in the Philippines also to the National Bureau of Investigation, the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.

The company’s founder is 83-year-old Gaston Glock, an engineer by profession who built up a multi-billion gun business. His plays a controversial role for many observers as his company, founded in 1982, has since been the target of a large number of investigations. In 1999, Glock survived a murder attempt by a hired French ex-mercenary in Luxembourg over a business dispute.

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