The Greek coastguard has seized a ship loaded with thousands of undeclared, carefully concealed weapons, and possibly explosives, en route from Turkey to Libya. Local media claims the ship is linked to Islamic State (IS) and to
companies who have previously smuggled goods to Syria – the Turkish foreign minister denies this.
The ship had come from Alexandretta in Egypt on to the Turkish port of Iskenderun, and was bound for the Libyan port of Misrata – a stronghold of the Muslim Brotherhood-linked group “Libya Dawn.”
It was raided on Tuesday 20 nautical miles off Create and has now been escorted to the port of Heraklion where searches began on Wednesday. The ship flies under a Bolivian flag, but its seven-member crew are thought to be from Syria, Egypt and India.
Greek language website kathimerini.gr claims the firm who are registered as owning the ship were identified by American arms trafficking researchers Odessa Network as making nine shipments to Syria in 2012, possibly from Russian and Ukraine.