Seventy pistols manufactured by Sig SAUER GmbH (Germany) were allegedly sold to the Kazakhstan Republican Guard in 2010. According to export paperwork, they were being exported to the USA for civilian sales. An unnamed company in the USA then obtained export approval from the State Department and send these German-made Sig pistols to Kazakhstan.
This kind of gun deal, know as a bypass transaction, is illegal in most countries and in Germany is a violation of the Foreign Trade Act and the Arms Act. End-user certificates showing the final destination of the weapons must be presented when applying for export approval. A few days ago Sig SAUER GmbH (Germany) were raided by a SWAT unit, 12 detectives and the state prosecutor’s office.
I would guess that the police raid’s purpose was to discover if Sig SAUER employees had known the pistols were actually going to end up in Kazakhstan. I would not be surprised to learn that the relevant federal law enforcement agencies in the USA are also investigating the transfer. It would also not surprise me to learn that this whole episode is nothing more sinister than poorly filled out paperwork.
The 2,000-strong Kazakhstan Republican Guard was established in 1992. Their allegiance is to the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan and they are tasked his protection. The Armed Forces of Kazakhstan are mostly armed with former USSR weapons, but their special forces recently acquired 7.62x39mm Beretta ARX-160 rifles.
Thanks to Troubleshooter Berlin for the tip.