A spokesperson for the Norwegian army has confirmed that the Icelandic Coast Guard bought 250 MP5 submachine guns from them last December, contrary to official contentions that the guns were a gift.
RÚV reports that Dag Aamont, a spokesperson for the Norwegian army, has confirmed that the Icelandic Coast Guard signed a deal with the Norwegian army on December 17 of last year to purchase the weapons. According to the agreement, Iceland paid about 11.5 million ISK for the weapons.
Dag would not offer more information on the matter, nor would he comment on statements from Icelandic officials that the guns were a gift.
Official statements of the new weapons cache in the hands of the Icelandic police account for only 150 MP5s. It is unknown who owns the remaining 100 submachine guns. However, the new information also directly contradicts official statements on how the guns were obtained.
As reported, Jóhannes Þór Skúlason, assistant to Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson stated on Facebook that the guns are a “gift from Norway”, and that the cost to the Icelandic state was none. He added that the guns were a part of the “good teamwork in police matters” between the two countries. Furthermore, Chief of the National Commissioner of Police Jón F. Bjartmarz told reporters that none of the additional funds the police received last year were used to purchase weapons.
The matter is further confounded by a recent statement from Icelandic Coast Guard director Georg Lárusson, who said of the guns, “I don’t know how these weapons that the police now have got into their hands, but I can find out. … I can’t say whether these guns came from us or are owned by us. It is out of the question that [Coast Guard] employees handed the police these guns without my knowledge.”
At the time of this writing, over 600 Icelanders have said they will be attending a demonstration to be held this Friday in front of the capital area police station. Attendees are encouraged to arrive armed with soap bubble blowers, water balloons and water guns, all of which will be fired at the police station itself.
At the same time, about 7,000 Icelanders have joined a group entitled “Return the Guns” to Norway. In addition, about 3,000 Icelanders have so far signed a petition calling for a national referendum on the matter.