Spain detains man who provided arms for January 2015 Paris attacks

Spanish police detained suspected weapons trafficker Antoine Denevi on April 12, 2016.
Spanish police detained suspected weapons trafficker Antoine Denevi on April 12, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

MADRID (AFP) - Spanish police said on Wednesday (April 13) they had detained a French national suspected of heading a weapons trafficking ring that provided arms to Amedy Coulibaly, who staged a deadly attack on a Jewish supermarket in Paris last year.

In a statement, police said Antoine Denevi, a 27-year-old originally from northern France, was detained on Tuesday in the southern Spanish Malaga area after Paris issued a Europe-wide arrest warrant.

He "left the neighbouring country (France) weeks after the Paris attacks to escape police action, and settled in the province of Malaga from where he continued his illegal activities using fake papers," the police said.

"It's also been determined that his activities were linked with people of Serbian origin, who may have facilitated his access to arms and munitions." Both Spanish and French police forces participated in Tuesday's operation, during which two other people were detained - one Serb and another from Montenegro.

Coulibaly was one of three Islamic extremists who waged attacks in Paris on January 7-9 last year that left 17 dead.

He shot dead a policewoman and later took hostages in a Jewish supermarket, where he killed four people.

His accomplices, the Kouachi brothers, killed 12 in an attack on the office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.