Mozambique authorities arrested four U.S. citizens and a Briton for possession of illegal weapons this week.
According to a BBC News report, the five say they were in the region to help rescue a boat from pirates. They told authorities that they worked for GreySide, a U.S. security firm, however the company has not commented on the incident and the U.S. embassy disavowed any connection to the group.
Mozambican officials told BBC that the men were in possession of weapons, ammunition and communication equipment. The leader of the group, identified as U.S. citizen 42-year-old Michael Ferguson, said the group flew from the U.S. through Ethiopia and Kenya in order to enter a large vessel off the coastal city of Pemba to subsequently assist another boat being held by pirates.
Info on "Greyside Group- Maritime Security Services" here. (Update) As noted on its website,
- GreySide Group is licensed and certified to transport arms globally (US ITAR).
- All of GreySide's weapons are legally obtained, legally shipped, and legally employed.
It's generally a really bad idea to carry weapons into foreign countries unless the proper permits or other forms of authorization have been obtained. "Baksheesh" might work, but, then again, it might not.
Maybe a permit expired or was renewed and someone didn't get the memo.
UPDATE here. Apparently it was a matter of team members being "questioned" and then released.