Colombia detains China-flagged ship for illegal arms transport

BOGOTA, (Reuters) – Colombian authorities detained a China-flagged ship traveling to Cuba for illegally transporting around 100 tonnes of gunpowder and other materials used to make explosives and arrested the captain, the attorney general’s office said.

The vessel was stopped on Saturday in the northern port of Cartagena, on the Caribbean coast, after the materials were detected during inspection. The cargo was listed in the ship’s records as grain products.

“Around 100 tonnes of powder, 2.6 million detonators, 99 projectiles and around 3,000 cannon shells were found,” Luis Gonzalez, the national director of the attorney general’s office, told reporters.

Cargo documentation the captain presented did not match the load the ship was found to be carrying, Gonzalez said. Photographs from the prosecutor’s office showed wooden cases inside a shipping container with labels stating Chinese defense manufacturer Norinco as the supplier.

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