In 2003, Belgium adopted a law intended to control arms brokers. This law doesn't meet the European requirement and, furthermore, has never been applied by the authorities, although the problem was well known.

For almost ten years, Belgian illegal arms dealers operate under the radar and have nothing to fear from the government. Serge Muller is one of them. In January 2012, a shipment of thousands of Chinese weapons arrived in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Intended to the paramilitary wing of the police, the firearms raised some questions from the United Nations special envoy. Serge Muller acted as a dealer in the deal, as he did almost 15 years ago, during the civil war. He never asked for any license in Belgium, but has little to fear, as shows a months-long investigation supported by the Pascal Decroos Fund.

Team members

Damien Spleeters

Damien Spleeters (1986) is the Deputy Director of Operations at Conflict Armament Research.

A working grant of € 3.500 allocated on 10/07/2012.

Belgische wet op wapenhandel werkt niet, Knack 25/07/2012 
Armes: trafiquer en toute impunité, Le Vif, 26/07/2012

need resources for your own investigative story?

Journalismfund Europe's flexible grants programmes enable journalists to produce relevant public interest stories with a European mind-set from international, national, and regional perspectives.


support independent cross-border investigative journalism

We rely on your support to continue the work that we do. Make a gift of any amount today.