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Spanish police bust, dismantles workshop making 3D-printed weapons

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Spanish police say they have raided and dismantled an illegal workshop that was producing 3D-printed weapons.

Two 3D printers along with gun parts, a replica assault rifle, two tasers and a machete were among items found in the search in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, in the Canary Islands.

Police say they also found manuals on terrorism and urban guerrilla warfare, as well as white supremacist material.

It is the first such workshop to be discovered in Spain, officials say.

The alleged owner of the workshop has been charged with illegal possession of weapons and explosives. According to the Spanish newspaper El País, the owner is a Spaniard and worked as the administrator of a nursing home on the island.

In a statement (in Spanish), police said the operation began when investigators learned of a person who was trying to sell firearms and explosives over the internet.

The investigation led them to Tenerife and when agents raided the workshop they found a fully operational 3D printer “printing a short rifle frame which was virtually complete”.

Other material recovered included more than 30 manuals on subjects such as how to make homemade explosives and how to manufacture firearms through 3D printing, the statement said.

The raid took place last September but an investigating judge ordered details to be kept secret and the operation was only revealed on Sunday, 18 April.

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