JAMMU, 4 May-2014(IANS): Army foiled an infiltration bid along the Line of Control (LoC) in…
The narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has opened an investigation into the discovery of assault weapons and narcotics hidden amidst a consignment of trucks being shipped from Mumbai to Indian Army peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo, government sources have told The Indian Express.
Kenyan special forces, acting on information from the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), had seized over 34 weapons, including M19 rifles and general-purpose machine guns, from the Singapore-flagged Höegh Transporter at the port of Mombasa on September 17.
The weapons, an official familiar with the case told The Indian Express, are believed to have been loaded on to Höegh Transporter in Dubai, where the ship had stopped before arriving in Mumbai.
However, the ship’s Indian and Philippines-origin crew are still being questioned on how the weapons, along with a packet of narcotics, were then hidden amidst the Indian Army’s trucks. “The recipient of the weapons clearly also had the means to be able to extricate the drugs and weapons at Mombasa, where they were to be delivered to Indian peacekeepers, or on their onward transit to the Democratic Republic of Congo. This is clearly a matter of very serious concern,” the official said. Police in Kenya, officials there have said, are investigating who the weapons might have been intended for. Jihadist group al-Shabab, now waging a war of attrition against Kenyan troops north of the border, ranks among the potential clients, along with rival militia in war-torn South Sudan, as well as a welter of criminal syndicates. Norwegian transport giant Höegh Autoliners, which owns the Höegh Transporter, said in a statement that “the weapons were not declared to us at the time the cargo was loaded, and the fact that weapons were in the vehicles is in violation with our terms of transportation, which clearly states that no arms or ammunition are accepted for shipment”.