ATHENS: Over 5,000 firearms and more than 490,000 rounds of ammunition have been found onboard the suspicious general cargo vessel arrested in Crete yesterday, and there could well be more still to be found.
The weaponry is believed to have been bound for Islamic State forces in Libya. The Bolivia-flagged singledecker general cargo vessel Haddad 1 (1,400 dwt, built 1976; pictured below) was arrested yesterday while en route to Misrata, Libya. The ship is now anchored at the port of Heraklion in Crete.
Two containers that were loaded at the vessel’s last port of call, İskenderun port in Turkey, were found to contain 5,000 police-type shotguns and 491,950 9-mm bullets, according to reports from the Greek Coastguard. The vessel was carrying 14 containers at the time of its arrest.
The Coastguard said the weapons and ammunition were “carefully hidden” deep inside the containers behind other cargo such as drawers, cupboards and gymnastics mats. None of the vessel’s documents mention the existence of the illegal cargo, the agency said. The 12 other containers that remain onboard are still being inspected.