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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Cyprus seizes arms ship bound for Syria

Authorities in Cyprus are searching a cargo ship that was seized yesterday off the port of Limassol, after being tipped off that the ship bound from Port Said, Egypt to Latakia, Syria was carrying weapons. The ship was boarded by a special police unit and by explosives experts carrying a search warrant immediately after it anchored off Limassol.
”Its bill of lading said it was carrying meteorological equipment. We have been informed that Interpol had information of its possible involvement in arms smuggling,” Cyprus ports authority chairman Chrysis Prentzas told state radio.

State radio said metal pipes were found on board the Panamanian-flagged Grigorio 1 which could be the casing of a weapons system.

”Something has been found which can be used for meteorological purposes but it can also have a military use and we are checking this out,” a source close to the enquiry told AFP.


Police said the documentation did not match the description of the goods on the ship and that they were questioning the eight-man crew about the suspect cargo.

Cypriot newspaper Phileleftheros quoted unnamed officials as saying they were almost certain that some of the items on board were part of a missile launcher.


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