A gang of thieves stole 42 powerful rifles then replaced them with toys after breaking into a police armoury.

Officers in Paraguay discovered the FN FAL battle rifles has been replaced with wooden and plastic replicas during an inspection.

The inspection was ordered after the rifles started appearing a year ago on the black market.

Storage

The rifles were being kept in storage in the armoury in the city of Capiata while the police force were replacing them with newer models as reported in a story by the Metro.

Some of the guns are believed to have ended up in Argentina whiles others were allegedly smuggled into Brazil.

Brazil has complained for years that many of the illegal weapons being seized in the country come from Paraguay.

Embarassing

Photos of the toy replicas were shared by Paraguayan media who branded it the ‘most embarrassing scandal’ in the history of the country’s police force.

The officer in charger of the armoury has since been replaced but no arrests have been made as of yet.