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Turkey ready to help over seized weapons shipment

Foreign Ministry denies Greek media claims that weapons were undeclared

Turkey ready to help over seized weapons shipment


Turkey is willing to cooperate with the Greek authorities investigating a weapon-laden ship reportedly seized by the Greek coast guard earlier this week, the Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

The Bolivian-flagged MV Haddad-1 was stopped off the coast of Crete, according to a report by the Athens News Agency on Tuesday. The Lebanon-bound vessel, which left the southern Turkish port of Iskenderun on Aug. 29, was said to be carrying an unknown quantity of undeclared weapons.

However, a spokesman for Turkey’s Foreign Ministry denied the weapons were unregistered and said the shipment of 4,900 "ungrooved hunting rifles" to be delivered to Lebanon and 492,000 rounds of handgun ammunition destined for Sudan’s police service was legal under the laws of both nations.

"If the materials are found to be going to recipients other than those declared on the customs declaration and if this information is sharing with our authorities then naturally there are a number of measures that could be taken on the matter," spokesman Tanju Bilgic said.

According to the ministry, the company that owns the ship is registered in Piraeus, Greece.

Athens News Agency reported the crew is made up of Indian, Egyptian and Syrian nationals.

The ship arrived in Iskenderun, Hatay province, on Aug. 25 from the Northern Cypriot port of Gazimagusa, also known as Famagusta

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