Two arrested for laboratories to manufacture explosives in Murcia

The Civil Guard, within the framework of operation Bals, has proceeded in the Region of Murcia, in the Southeast of Spain, to arrest two people for the crimes of illegal manufacturing of explosives and risk caused by explosives and other agents.

The investigation began in the middle of the year, when the Information Headquarters of the Civil Guard received a communication from the Intelligence Center against Terrorism and Organized Crime (CITCO) alerting that two people residing in different towns in the Region of Murcia had suspiciously acquired explosive precursor substances. Explosive precursors are chemical substances that, at certain concentrations and mixed with each other or with other products, are capable of being used for the homemade and illicit manufacture of explosives; Therefore, its trade, acquisition, possession and use are rigorously controlled.

Given the high risk of diversion for illicit uses of these explosive precursors, the Civil Guard annually carries out information and awareness campaigns for both large companies and small establishments (economic operators) that trade with them so that they notify and warn of any suspicious purchase attempts they detect, such as It has been the case at hand.

The investigation carried out by the specialists from the Information Headquarters allowed the identification of both buyers of these precursors, who lived in two different locations and who were not related to each other; discovering that in both cases in addition to these precursor substances also They had acquired other chemicals, in addition to wick, professional laboratory material and electrical components.

After several months of research, his links with terrorist organizations have been ruled out or radicals and once the places where those investigated could be manufacturing and storing the explosive mixtures that were suspected of being produced illicitly for unknown purposes were located, these people were arrested.

The effects seized were more than 700 grams of already prepared artisanal explosive mixtures (gunpowder), 15.5 kilos of precursor substances and other chemicals used for the illegal manufacture of explosives, remains of an already exploded ‘pipe bomb’ type explosive device, professional laboratory equipment (electric stirrers, flasks, test tubes, pipettes, heaters, precision balances, etc.) for the synthesis and distillation of chemical mixtures, electronic material for the development of remote ignition systems for explosive devices.

It turns out that one of the detainees had manufactured a homemade explosive device, type ‘pipe bomb’, which admitted having used it to “scare away” possible thieves in a home located in an isolated area where they had suffered several robberies.

Seized material / Civil Guard

The Information Headquarters of the Civil Guard works closely on this matter. Throughout 2022, more than 396 applications for this type of precursor licenses were analyzed to rule out that the applicants did not intend to divert these substances for illicit purposes; Likewise, carrying out 59 inspections of establishments that traded in precursors and investigating another 31 suspicious transactions.

In one of those performances, Last March 2023 in Montmajor (Barcelona), the Civil Guard dismantled a clandestine workshop for the illegal manufacture of explosives, carrying out the largest seizure of explosive precursors carried out to date in our country, in which almost half a ton of these substances were seized, with which the detainee would have tried to manufacture explosives as dangerous as TATP (referred to by jihadist terrorists as “ the mother of satan”), chloratite or gunpowder.

With the present action, not only has it been prevented that explosive mixtures and illegally manufactured devices could be diverted to the black market, but it has also avoided the existing risk to the life and physical integrity of the people who resided in the places where they were manufactured. or used these explosive mixtures in case of accidental explosion during handling or storage.

One of the laboratories / Civil Guard

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