Corruption Places Navy Ammunition into the Arms of Paraguay’s Criminals

Ammunition manufactured for Paraguay’s navy is ending up within the fingers of organized crime teams as a crippling lack of traceability ensures gangs can fill their arsenals with ease.

Aldo Daniel Ozuna, the director-general of Paraguay’s Directorate of Struggle Materials (Dirección de Materials Bélico – Dimabel), which provides ammunition to the navy, has admitted that bullets supposed for the armed forces have made their option to legal organizations.

Ozuna advised Paraguayan media outlet NPY Oficial on September 14 that at the least 4 unnamed navy items had been being investigated for probably promoting off ammunition.

“We’re working to detect the leak. Now we have to grasp that organized crime has permeated our establishments,” he advised reporters.

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Ozuna’s announcement got here after Dimabel bullets had been utilized in two separate legal acts in September.

Most just lately on September 8, hitmen shot 51 bullets at a house in Guaraní within the metropolis of Pedro Juan Caballero, in accordance with information channel Telefuturo. The bullet casings discovered on the scene bore a Dimabel stamp.

Days earlier, a soldier working for Dimabel and an confederate had been arrested within the Chaco division for making an attempt to promote Dimabel ammunition by the messaging service, WhatsApp, La Nación reported.

In accordance to Ozuna, Dimabel ships ammunition to navy and safety items all through the nation however lacks enough tracing mechanisms to stop it falling into the improper fingers. Packing containers of ammunition bearing QR codes used are despatched to navy items throughout Paraguay. However the bullets themselves haven’t any distinctive identification.

“We solely have a single mark on the underside of every bullet that claims ‘Dimabel,’” Ozuna advised reporters. As soon as the bullets are faraway from the bins, it’s unimaginable to trace the place they’re despatched or at which armory they had been initially manufactured.

In an effort to extend traceability of navy weaponry within the nation, the European Union’s World Illicit Flows program donated an electromagnetic micro-percussion marking machine to Paraguay on September 19.

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On the coronary heart of Dimabel’s incapacity to stem ammunition trafficking lie shortcomings not solely in munitions tracing however within the group’s means to withstand corruption.

Dimabel has a tall order to fill in its quest to supply the navy with ammunition. Earlier this 12 months, Ozuna estimated that the Paraguayan navy requires between 4 and 5 million cartridges yearly.

What share of that quantity is deviated in the direction of organized crime stays unclear.

In October 2021, the daughter of Ronald Acevedo, the previous governor of the Amambay division, was shot lifeless alongside three others in a focused assassination in Pedro Juan Caballero. An evaluation of the bullet casings on the scene confirmed they had been from Dimabel. Later that month, throughout a raid in the identical metropolis, police uncovered a whole lot of rounds of Dimabel ammunition at a hitman’s stash home.

SEE ALSO: The Drug Lord and the Governor’s Daughter – Quadruple Murder in Paraguay

“The truth that Dimabel brokers have been concerned on this [activity] is one other instance of the complicity of the federal government,” Carlos Anibal Peris, an professional in Paraguayan organized crime, advised InSight Crime. He added that poor salaries and the entire lack of a counterintelligence system to watch corrupt brokers contribute to institutional corruption inside Dimabel.

However Peris additionally harassed that leaks from Dimabel to organized crime aren’t rising. “I’d not say that it’s rising. It’s an unlawful enterprise of insiders who’ve at all times been concerned. Fairly, it’s being maintained.” 

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