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Ship carrying weapons and explosives for the Islamic state detained near Crete

02 September 2015 / 11:09:14  GRReporter
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A Greek coast guard special unit detained a ship carrying weapons and explosives off the island of Crete. The ship Haddad I that was sailing under the Bolivian flag was found in the sea near Ierapetra and the inspection carried out on it detected the illegal cargo. All the evidence indicates that it was intended for the jihadist Islamic State that is operating in Libya.

The ship had departed from the Turkish port of Iskenderun on 28 August and its destination was probably the Libyan port of Misrata, which is the command post of Libyan Dawn Islamists who do not recognize the internationally recognized government of Prime Minister Abdullah Thani.

The competent Greek authorities had received information about the ship and organized the operation of the coast guard, involving the members of the teams for special missions. At the end of the operation, the ship was found and stopped at sea south of Ierapetra.

According to the transport documentation, the ship was carrying home appliances but the inspection found weapons on board.

Sources indicate that the ship was transporting a large number of weapons and explosives, as the coast guard found hunting rifles in all the containers checked by its members. The weapons were among other goods such as cigarettes and decorative items, which had the proper documents for transportation.

A 7-member crew was on board the ship, consisting of citizens of Syria, Egypt and India. All of them have been apprehended and the inspection of the cargo continues.

It will be transported to the port of Heraklion that avails the necessary equipment to carry the containers and examine them in detail.

In the period June-29August, the ship Haddad I passed through the ports of Famagusta (Cyprus), Iskenderun (Turkey), Alexandria (Egypt) and Tobruk (Libya).

The newspaper Kathimerini reports that the ship is owned by a Greek shipping company and that it has been the property of a company based in Piraeus at least since 1 February 2015. Both the headquarters of the owning company and the company that manages the ship flying under the Bolivian flag are registered at the specific address.

Between August 2014 and 1 February 2015, the ship sailed under a different name, Mamo, and under the Cambodian flag. From 2008 to 2014, it was called Arxon and sailed under the Greek flag. The service fighting the legalization of income from illegal activities will continue the investigation.

The case of Haddad I is very reminiscent of the ship Noor M, which was detected by the Greek coast guard near Rhodes in the autumn of 2013. The authorities found on board the ship containers with millions of cartridges for Kalashnikov guns. According to the documentation, the exporter was a Ukrainian company for military equipment, the recipient the Libyan Defence Ministry and Noor M was the property of a Turkish shipping company based in Istanbul.

Tags: Crime newsShip with weapons and explosivesHaddad ILibyan port of MisrataIslamistsLibyan DawnGreek shipping company
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