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Monday, September 11, 2006

Yes, it was an arms ship

Last Thursday, I reported on the search and seizure by Cyprus of a ship heading for Latakia, Syria that allegedly had a weapons cargo. Tonight, I can tell you that there were weapons on board. The ship has been impounded. Its crew members have been detained for questioning.
Authorities in Cyprus on Monday impounded a ship carrying military equipment to Syria. Officials said the Panama-registered Gregorio 1, intercepted last week on its way from North Korea, was stopped after Cyprus received an alert from Interpol that the ship may have been smuggling weapons.

According to the shipping documents, the vessel had been carrying meteorological equipment ordered by the government of Syria. The actual cargo, port authorities discovered, included some 20 mobile radar systems that can be mounted on trucks and used for air-defense.

Port officials have impounded the ship and arrested all 15 crewmembers pending an investigation.


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