Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Friday, October 11, 2013

PANAMA SAYS CUBA LIED ABOUT ARMS SHIPMENTS TO NORTH KOREA

the military cargo was hidden under tons of sugar

Statements made by officials in the foreign ministry in the Republic of Panama have indicated that the original Cuban claims about the quality of the cargo carried in the North Korean freighter captured by Panama were untrue. The Government of Cuba claimed that the military cargo seized by Panama, when the ship attempted to transit the Panama Canal consisted of antiquated aircraft and parts, to be reconditioned by North Korea, and returned to Cuba.

After careful examination, Panamanian government sources now say that operational MiG aircraft, and additional engines, whose records showed recent operation, were on board the vessel. Panama has already levied a $1m fine on North Korea, for attempting to travel through the Canal with undisclosed military cargo, and the crew is in custody at a Panamanian military installation.

It is doubtful that any charges will be levied upon Cuba, though, due to the central role played by the Colon Free Zone, which ships goods to Cuba,  allowing it to evade American sanctions.   

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