Taurus sold arms to Yemeni traffickers, Brazilian prosecutors say

The largest weapons manufacturer in Latin America, Forjas Taurus, has been charged with selling guns to a known Yemeni arms trafficker who funneled them into his nation’s civil war in violation of international sanctions.

Federal prosecutors in southern Brazil charged two former executives of Taurus in May with shipping 8,000 handguns in 2013 to Fares Mohammed Hassan Mana’a, an arms smuggler active around the Horn of Africa for over a decade according to the United Nations, Reuters reported Monday.

Brazilian authorities say two former Taurus executives were negotiating another shipment of 11,000 guns with Mana’a last year when they uncovered the plot and raided the company’s offices in November.

The executives include Eduardo Pezzuol and Leonardo Sperry. Their attorney told Reuters the accusations “do not reflect the facts of the matter.”

Taurus is also one of the largest gun makers in the U.S. In 2014, its U.S. branch produced more than 84,000 pistols, according to government reports.

[ Reuters ]