The 250 disputed —and costly— machine guns need free ride back to Norway
The 250 machine guns acquired from Norway, by the Coast Guard, to share with Iceland’s Police forces, have not been returned as intended. According to the Coast Guard’s public relations manager, they are waiting for an opportunity to ship the guns back without paying hefty shipping fees. This was reported by Vísir.
This October, DV broke the news of the acquired weapons and plans within the Police to arm general patrol cars with the MP5 submachine guns. Traditionally, most Police officers have served unarmed, but are backed up, when needed, by special forces.
A dispute then arose between authorities within the Norwegian Army, and the Icelandic Coast Guard, as to whether latter had bought the guns or received them as a gift. Norway said they expected payment, whereas the Coast Guard contended that paying would not be in line with a long-standing honorary arrangement between the countries, and that Norway’s invoice was a mere formality, for book-keeping purposes. As neither country backed from their claim, the Coast Guard announced that it would return the guns, and seek offers elsewhere.
Since the 2008 economic crash, the Coast Guard has taken measures to supplement its limited funding, for example by renting its vessels to patrol migration on the Mediterranean.