Brazil seizes 60 assault rifles hidden in pool heaters

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Handout image released by Brazilian Civil Police showing 60 firearms seized from inside shipments of pool heating systems from Miami on June 1, 2017Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Police put the weapons on display

Police in Brazil have seized 60 assault rifles that had been smuggled from the US city of Miami in a shipment of swimming pool heaters.

The weapons, which included 45 AK-47 guns, were found at the cargo terminal at Rio de Janeiro's Galeao International Airport.

Four people have been arrested, police said.

It is one of the largest seizures of such weapons in Brazilian history, local media reported.

Authorities put the rifles on show, and released an X-ray image that showed the wrapped guns concealed inside the containers of pool heating systems.

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
The guns were wrapped in plastic and hidden inside containers

It is believed the guns could have been sold in Brazil for up to $1.5m (£1.1m) in total. Detectives are investigating an exporter in Miami, Globo newspaper reported without identifying them.

Security forces in Brazil are struggling to stop powerful automatic weapons falling into the hands of drugs gangs and militia groups which control poorer areas of major cities.