NEWS

Huge weapons cache found on Sierra Leone-flagged mystery vessel

Greek Coast Guard authorities were trying to establish on Saturday the exact destination of a cargo ship that was intercepted in the southeastern Aegean Sea on the previous day and found to be carrying a large shipment of weapons.

The Sierra Leone-flagged Nour M was stopped by coast guard officers near Greece’s Imia islets off the Turkish coast. It was carrying around 20,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles as well as large quantity of explosives. The ship was first escorted to the port of Symi and subsequently to the port of Rhodes for further inspection. The captain, a Turk, and seven crew members have all been placed under arrest.

The boat had reportedly set sail from Ukraine and, its captain said, it was destined for the Turkish port of Iskenderun. However, Nour M had officially logged its final destination as Taurus in Syria. According to a different marine traffic system, however, the ship’s destination was Tripoli in Libya. The same ship has in the past been used for drug trafficking, authorities said. Investigations are ongoing.