Ship's Crew of Syria Weapons Ship to be Held

Lebanon Daily Star
Monday, April 30, 2012

Judge ordered 11-man crew of ship carrying weapons to be held in Lebanon

Military Prosecutor Judge Saqr Saqr has ordered that the 11-member crew of the ship “Lutfallah II,” which was carrying weapons allegedly bound for Syria, be held for questioning, reports the Lebanon 'Daily Star'.

Saqr requested that the military police question the suspects and determine at which port the arms were loaded and to whom they were to be delivered.

The Lebanese Army confirmed weapons on board the ship were confiscated.

“The Army intercepted off the northern coast the Sierra Leonean-flagged commercial vessel ‘Lutfallah II.’ The Army and relevant authorities inspected the vessel and confiscated three containers with a large quantity of assorted arms as well as heavy, medium and light ammunition.”

The statement added that the 11 detained crew members were of various Arab and foreign nationalities.

President Michel Sleiman praised the Army for seizing the ship, touting the measure as part of efforts to preserve civil peace and prevent the country from becoming an arena of conflict for others.

The Tripoli-bound “Lutfallah II” was impounded by Lebanese authorities and transported to the Lebanese Navy base in Beirut port , after having been intercepted in Lebanese waters and forced to dock at Salaata port in the north of the country.

The owner of the ship is Syrian Mohammad Khafaja and its Lebanese shipping agent is Ahmad Bernard.

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