INTERPOL iArms Operation Trigger VI - South America
Form 8 to 28 March 2021, in the framework of the iARMS project, funded by the European Union, the INTERPOL Firearms Programme coordinated Operation Trigger VI - South America. The Operation was conducted across all South American countries and territories. The joint operation enabled police, customs, border and prosecution services to work together, carrying out nearly 10,000 checks against INTERPOL databases to track illegal firearms and identify potential links with organized crime. Law enforcement actions resulted in the seizure of more than 5500 firearms, 180,000 rounds of ammunition, 745 grenades and explosives, 21 tons of narcotics and other types of contrebande.
Funded by the European Union, the iARMS project was launched with the aim to develop the INTERPOL illicit Arms Records and tracing Management System (iARMS). Since 2016, INTERPOL has been coordinating intelligence-led law enforcement operations supported by INTERPOL's policing capabilities including iARMS. iARMS is a platform that facilitates information exchange and investigative cooperation between law enforcement agencies in relation to the international movement of illicit firearms. Countries are encouraged to upload records of lost and stolen firearms in iARMS. Consequently, in the case of a recovered firearm, the database is queried and the country can identify when and where the firearm was diverted into illegal possession. Should the query not generate a positive result, the user can send a request to the country of manufacture, country of last legal import (if marked on the firearm) and to any country that may be connected to the case.