Arms trafficking report: North Korean weapons flight was heading to Iran

Arms trafficking researc

The flight plan for an aircraft seized in Thailand on December 12 with a load of illicit North Korean arms and ammunition shows that the mysterious plane was headed to Iran, according to a new report from arms trafficking researchers. According to the flight plan seen by researchers, the aircraft was chartered by Hong Kong-based Union Top Management Ltd., or UTM, to fly oil industry spare parts from Pyongyang to Tehran, with several other stops, including in Azerbaijan and Ukraine. The report on the flight plan from the nonprofit groups TransArms in the United States and IPIS of Belgium was funded by the Belgian government and Amnesty International. It could not be independently verified. The report said the plane was registered to Air West, a cargo transport company in the former Soviet republic of Georgia. Asked to comment on whether the plane was bound for Tehran, company owner Levan Kakabadze told The Associated Press that he was unaware of the plane's final destination.