Pistols donated by Germany end up in Afghan and Pakistani Black Market

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

Defense Aerospace reports that many of the Walther P1 pistols, which Germany donated to the Afghan police force, have found their way onto the black market. Defense Aerospace reports:

German military pistols are being sold on the black market in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The weapons were sent in 2006 and were intended for local police and army personnel.

Arms dealers in the region told German public radio that hundreds of German weapons were for sale carrying a price tag of over 680 euros a piece ($1,000).

In 2006, the German Defense Ministry shipped 10,000 old Walther-P1 pistols to the Afghan Interior Ministry to equip Afghan police and army. However, both the German government and the responsible US-led security team in Afghanistan reportedly failed to properly monitor the guns’ whereabouts.

The US unit said that it only had detailed records of 4,563 pistols out of a total 10,000.

Current and former Afghan soldiers and police officers are said to be among those illegally selling and trafficking the pistols, some of which have ended up in Pakistan’s north-west border provinces and neighboring tribal areas.

The team of NDR radio reporters who discovered the black market guns said it’s not clear exactly how they ended up there.

“Apparently, most of these pistols haven’t been stolen, but were simply taken home and sold by former police officers and soldiers after they’d left the service,” said Christoph Heinzle, who headed the NDR team. “But corruption and theft cannot be ruled out because neither the Afghan authorities nor the US and German armed forces carry out effective controls to prevent [theft].”

The United States has also come under criticism in the past for losing track of weapons donated to local forces. Short of retina scanning, which is being used to keep track of Iraqi M16 rifles, there is very little that can be done to prevent the end-users stealing the weapons they are issued.

Walther P38 (designated the P1 by the Bundeswehr)

Many thanks to Daniel for the link.

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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  • Mica Mica on Apr 25, 2011

    and what excatay did you expext in a country when the dammm fool,s still live in the 1600 ,s where any place thay can make a buck thay will helll the bastard willl selll thire sister,s to make a trade deal the german,s would have been better off selling thire spare p 1 and p 38,s to the usa

  • Mike webb Mike webb on Jan 18, 2012

    Hi, Germany should have sold the Walther P1`s and P38`s to us. The gun was listed in the German Walther catalog for 800 Euros, so that was a piece of change. I have a French Manurhin P1, a nos P38 and 6 of the German army P1`s. I assembled a new steel frame bought from the distributor and a WW2 steel frame as well. Great fun. We love the guns here and more parts would have been appreciated. The steel frame is 6 ounces heavier than the aluminum frame. Recoil is not a problem with either frame but i do like the feel of a heavier gun for shooting targets but not for carrying it around though. The thicker and heavier slide was produced in 1968. About 10 years later the hex pin and the flanged barrel appeared. The first P1 was sold in 1964. When the military leaves Afghanistan they will return to the Seventeenth century. Thanks, Mike