Three days before the Christmas holidays, German officers from the regional capital of Stuttgart exercised a search warrant for the offices of Heckler and Koch. Known stateside for high-end firearms and high-end prices, Heckler & Koch is a major supplier of small arms and high-powered rifles to military outfits, law enforcement agencies (ironically most likely arming the officers who executed the warrant) and increasingly to the civilian hunting markets.
The search was triggered over suspicions that shipments of H&K rifles to Mexico may contravene German gun export laws. Under German law, there is a state enforced embargo on all unlicensed exports to zones of conflict. In light of recently escalating and increasingly devastating Narco-wars in the region claiming over 10,000 lives, Mexico would certainly seem to qualify as a zone of conflict.
A spokeswoman for the prosecution elaborated on the charges, stating that though H&K received a German issued Mexican export license, the particulars of the license specifically excluded the sale of guns in four Mexican states, which various international bodies agree have played host to human rights violations. Accordingly, Heckler & Koch stands accused of facilitating the sale of weapons in those states.
H&K has confirmed to the press that authorities have raided their offices in the southern German town of Oberndorf, relaying that nearly 20 police officers confiscated files and computers. A spokesperson for the gunmaker reports that they are cooperating with the inquiry and they are confident an investigation will clear the organization of any wrongdoing.