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voanews.com

Greece Seizes Explosives-Laden Ship
VOA News
23 Jun 2003, 01:20 UTC

Greek special forces on Sunday seized a Comoros-flagged ship loaded with 680 tons of explosives.

The special forces took over the ship in Greek waters in the Ionian Sea after the Merchant Marines received a tip that it was carrying suspicious cargo. Greek officials say they plan to carefully inspect the ship.

The troops arrested the ship's seven-man crew consisting of five Ukrainians and two men from Azerbaijan.

One Greek official says the vessel appears to have been heading to Africa, but it is unclear where it came from. He also described the ship as being "suspect."

Authorities will try to determine if the explosives are legal. The Reuters news agency quotes a police official as saying the cargo contains detonators, fuses, and ammonia dynamite, an explosive used in mining.

The ship, called the Baltic Sky, is owned by a company registered in the Marshall Islands in the South Pacific called Alpha Shipping. Many shipping companies use the Comoros Islands, off the southeastern coast of Africa to flag their vessels to avoid taxes and other maritime regulations.

Some information for this report provided by AP.



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