Greece’s Coast Guard seized a cargo vessel loaded with weapons off the island of Crete in the east Mediterranean Sea. According to local media, cargo vessel HADDAD 1 is carrying a Bolivian flag and was sailing from Turkey to Libya. In the early morning hours of Tuesday, units of the Greek coast guard seized the vessel off the city of Ierapetra, after a tip off. The inspection revealed an illegal cargo, an unknown number of weapons hidden containers. Officially, the vessel was carrying plastic items.
After the inspection concluded, the Greek coast guard arrested the crew and forced the vessel to change route and sail to the port of Heraklion.
According to information leaked to local media, the vessel’s destination was a port in Libya and there is suspicion that the weapons were to be delivered to Islamic State units.
Vessel position at 3:00-4:00 pm Tuesday: screen shot marinetraffic.com via Flashnews.gr
HADDAD 1 is expected to dock at the port of Herakleion Tuesday afternoon or early Wednesday where customs authorities and inspectors will proceed with further investigation.
Destination: Libya, port Misrata
The crew reportedly consists of nationals from Syria, Egypt and India.
According to marinetraffic.com and the vessel’s official records, HADDAD 1 left the port of Iskenderun, Turkey, on August 29th, its destination was Misurata in Libya.
HADDAD 1 arrived at the port of Herakleion and custom authorities immediately started the inspection. According to Greek media, 17 containers have opened by noon and they contained weapons and ammunition. 500,000 bullets and 5,000 rifles mainly for police use as well as other types of firearms.
Videoa released by Greek Coast Guardembedded by Embedded Video
YouTube Direkt embedded by Embedded Video
Investigation is continuing.
PS Misrata is not in the area controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), but the mystery might be solved once the Greek authorities conclude the investigation.