US weapons shipment seized: Venezuelan official

High-caliber ammunition, rifles, rifle chargers, and cellphones found at airport, says safety official

US weapons shipment seized: Venezuelan official


By Beyza Binnur Donmez


Amid fears of an incursion by U.S. forces, a shipment of rifles, ammunition, and other military equipment from the U.S. was seized at a Venezuelan airport, according to a state official writing on Twitter.

Endes Palencia, the deputy minister of prevention and public safety, late Tuesday posted pictures of high-caliber ammunition, 19 rifles, 118 rifle chargers, 90 radio antennas, and six cellphones shipped from Miami, Florida to Arturo Michelena International Airport in Valencia.

The ammunition was reportedly found in a storage yard of the airport and may have entered the country on Sunday aboard an Airbus N881YV.

Authorities said they will investigate to find those responsible "for financing terrorist groups that seek to undermine the peace of the people of Venezuela."

Security has been tightened at ports, air terminals, customs and other areas of the country.

Since National Assembly leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president last month, tension has been high in Venezuela, with President Nicolas Maduro warning that countries siding with Guaido are attempting a coup.

The U.S. has sided with Guaido, along with some 19 European countries.

Russia, China and Iran have also thrown their support behind Maduro, as has Turkey.

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