Monday, September 10, 2012

Venezuela: Gun trafficking charges dropped against U.S. merchant captain, ship and crew

US Ship Captain, Crew Free After Venezuela Drops Trafficking Charges:
A U.S. cargo ship and its crew are expected to head home Monday or Tuesday, after being held for over a week by Venezuelan authorities on suspicion of arms trafficking.

Venezuelan authorities dropped arms-trafficking charges against the 14 American crew members and the captain of the Ocean Atlas on Sunday.

Captain, Jeffrey Michael Raider, 45, of Texas, was arrested Aug. 29 when they found weapons during a search. The remaining 14 members of the cargo vessel were required to stay aboard the ship during the captain's detention.
The ship had the proper documentation.

I'm sure it was all just an unpleasant misunderstanding.

The problems of carrying weapons, even anti-piracy" weapons into port or territorial waters is one that shipowners and crews need to bear in mind as not every country appreciates their introduction.

This is especially true of anti-U.S. tin-pot quasi-dictators who can't figure out that if the U.S. really wanted to run guns into his country, there are about a billion better ways than putting 3 of them in a merchant ship . . .

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