Europe

Britons appear in Greek court over gun smuggling charge

Greek coastguard handout of the weapons seized Image copyright Greek coast guard
Image caption Greek authorities say they worked on an intelligence tip-off

Three men have appeared in court in Greece charged with illegal possession of arms and weapons smuggling.

Greek police say the men - two British citizens and a UK resident - were hiding 22 firearms and 200,000 rounds of ammunition in caravans.

Officials suspect the men - who are of Kurdish origin - were trying to smuggle the weapons to Kurdish fighters in Syria and Iraq, via Turkey.

The UK Foreign Office says it is providing consular assistance.

Two of the men were detained by Greek authorities over the weekend at the entrance to the Greek port of Alexandroupolis - near the border with Turkey.

Another man was arrested near the Kipoi border point on the Evros river.

Appearing in front of the public prosecutor in Alexandroupolis, the men were given 48 hours to prepare statements in their defence.

No names have been released.

BBC correspondent James Reynolds says Greece wants to show it is controlling its borders and it is not "a weapons smuggling highway between Europe and the wars in the Middle East".

Image copyright Greek coast guard
Image caption The caravan had hidden compartments, Greek officials say