Bulgarian was involved in arms smuggling, Bulgarian media quoted Macedonian newspaper Vecer as reporting on December 14 2009.
Vecer based its article on a report, published in late November 2009, by the Fundación Ideas para la Paz and the University of Ghent, as reported by Brussels-based GRIP (Groupe de recherche et d’information sur la paix et la sécurité) and financed in part by the Belgian federal ministry of foreign affairs. .
According to the report, entitled Arms Tracing, Perspectives on control, traffic and use of illegal weapons in Colombia, illicit small arms continued to play a major role in armed violence in Colombia.
Analysis of weapons surrendered to Colombian authorities by paramilitary group United Self-defences of Colombia showed that, despite strict export controls, more than 27 per cent of the weapons came from EU member states.
The largest EU supplier of weapons to Colombia was Bulgaria, with more than 18 per cent of all weapons, including AK-47 M1A1s.
Other EU member states found to have sold weapons to Colombian rebels included Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Spain.
Large exporters of weapons to Colombia outside the EU included the US, with almost 17 per cent of all weapons, and Russia with just more than 13 per cent.
Almost all Bulgarian and Russian weapons found were assault riffles, the report said.A study of the serial numbers of the weapons suggested that a large number had been subject of clandestine transactions directly from Europe, GRIP said.
The report recommended that the EU further strengthened its arms export control procedures.