Cyprus stops Syria-bound N. Korean ship

Air-defense radar systems found in cargo billed as "meteorological equipment."

September 11, 2006 16:21


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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. The ship was bound for Syria's Mediterranean port of Latakia when it was stopped by Cyprus last Tuesday after entering the island nation's territorial waters to refuel.

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