In a report aired last Sunday, British broadcaster Sky News claimed that “gun dealers in Romania are willing to sell illegal weapons to anyone, including terrorists.” It turns out that the “gun dealers” who appeared on camera are a group of ordinary Romanians who were paid by journalists to pretend they were weapon sellers.
A recent investigation in Romania carried out by British journalists with the Sky News TV channel was deemed as fake by local authorities, according to the Romanian Directorate for Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT).
Following searches in the counties Bistrita Nasaud and Targu Mures, the Romanian antiterrorism inspectors found that the Sky’s report into gun dealers who illegally sell weapons in Romania was a setup devised by the Sky News journalists. The so-called gun dealers were paid to pretend on camera that they were selling guns, according to Euractiv.ro.
The DIICOT claims that they found all those who appeared in the TV program. They were all located in the Bistrita Nasaud county. One of them, who is a resident in Britain where he works for a TV station, claimed that he was contacted by Sky News to be part of a report on gun dealing in Romania. He asked for a fee of €1,000 (US$1,110) to be part of the scheme. He later contacted other relatives in Romania and asked them to appear in this report. He also said that the journalists from Sky News told them what they were supposed to say.
According to the DIICOT, the weapons that appear in the video are all hunting weapons and are owned by those who appear in the Sky News report.
Sky News’ journalist Stuart Ramsay, who conducted the investigation, says that he has worked for nine months on this story. He claims that his story is real. For the DIICOT’s investigators, the fact that the gun dealers so easily appeared on camera raised a lot of questions.
Last Sunday, Sky News aired a report showing a group of Romanians willing to sell weapons to whoever had money to buy them. They hinted that this could be a venue for terrorists to get armed at a time of heightened security across the continent.