The firearms provided to the Icelandic Coastguard late last year are still in the country. The shipment of the guns to Iceland from the Norwegian military caused heated debate and criticism in Iceland and the Coastguard eventually relented and said the weapons would be sent back to Norway “at the first possible convenience”.
That statement was released in November, but Vísir has now found out from the Coastguard that the weapons remain in Iceland.
“It was planned to transport the weapons in a Norwegian military transporter plane which was due here in mid-May,” the news website was told. “Now it has been confirmed that the plane will not have a stopover here and so the coastguard is searching for other ways to transport the weapons to Norway.”
The weapons were commissioned by the Icelandic Coastguard, but were due to be distributed to police forces around the country. That is where the controversy arose, with people asking whether the Icelandic police really need more guns.
It was reported in December that in order to avoid significant cost, the coastguard planned to hold on to the guns until a Norwegian military plane visited Iceland, or an Icelandic coastguard vessel or aircraft had cause to visit Norway.
DV reported in late October last year that police authorities had imported a large number of guns to Iceland and that no discussion on increasing the police and coastguard’s firepower had taken place in parliament.
It later came to light that the Norwegian army expected significant payment for the weapons, while the Icelandic Coastguard had always maintained that the weapons had been a gift. The decision to sent the weapons back was made because it was out of the question to use limited funds on buying guns, the coastguard said.