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Friday, July 20, 2007

Syrian ship caught smuggling into Lebanon

With a hat tip to World Maritime News, a report from The Daily Star of Lebanon on a suspected smuggling incident: Syrian ship caught smuggling explosives:
A Syrian ship has been held in detention since Tuesday in Sidon's harbor after it was suspected of smuggling explosive materials. The Syrian ship, Lady Azza, which docked in Sidon two days ago, was supposed to transport scrap metal from Sidon to an unknown destination in Syria.

However, employees at Sidon' s harbor said boxes containing engines and thermal mercury pressure meters were being smuggled outside of the ship using one of the trucks carrying scrap into Lady Azza.

The Syrian ship has not entered Lebanese territories to discharge any merchandise, but rather to load scrap.

Military experts who visited the ship said engines and pressure meters which were being unloaded were not used in any military operations but were rather for industrial use.
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Military Intelligence were keen to specify the nature and usage of smuggled material, after several bombings rocked Beirut killing a number of politicians, and causing serious material damages.

Various political groups have accused Syria of plotting attacks against Lebanon by either exporting terrorist fighters or furnishing dormant terrorist nets with weapons to conduct attacks in Lebanon. The ship and its crew will not be allowed to leave Sidon's harbor while investigations are under way.
Syria has a reputation for smuggling -see here.

Another image of the ship may be found here.

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