NEWS

Officials eye ships carrying guns to Libya via Aegean

TAGS: Crime

Greek and European security officials are considering an intensification of inspections in the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean amid fears that large consignments of guns and explosives are being shipped to branches of the Islamic State in Libya, Kathimerini understands.

In one recent incident, at the end of May, Greek Coast Guard officers stopped the Sierra Leone-flagged cargo vessel Leith off the coast of Zakynthos for an inspection. Three days earlier the vessel had left the Albanian port of Durres for Libya. In the end, the X-ray machines generally used to inspect cargo proved inadequate to check the 2,700 tons of cement aboard the Leith and the ship continued its journey to Libya despite suspicions that it was carrying guns for IS.

Another recent inspection focused on a Togo-flagged vessel that left the Turkish port of Mersin for the Libyan port of Misrata. Until recently, the ship was listed as belonging to a Lebanon-based company that has been investigated for gun running.

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