Angola-bound ship carrying arms is Ukrainian not Georgian
The Spanish foreign ministry has contacted its Ukrainian and Angolan counterparts in order to ascertain whether the two countries have signed an arms sale contract, and whether the deal is legal, a government spokesman said.
The captain of the Anastasia, which had sailed from a Ukrainian Black Sea port for Luanda on February 11, had initially claimed the vessel was carrying automobile parts.
But the cargo, which the captain had tried to conceal, in fact included several thousand cases of 7.62-millimetre shells, mortar shells and night-vision devices.
The newspaper El Pais said Wednesday that the weapons had been sold by a state-owned Russian company, Rosvoruzheni; to the Angolan state-owned firm Simportex.
The paper said the Spanish port authorities imposed a fine of 900,000 euros (one million dollars) on the ship's owners for seeking to evade Spanish laws on the compulsory declaration of arms cargos.
Angola is considered a sensitive destination for arms exports as the UNITA rebel group, which has been battling the government there for decades, has been subject to a UN arms embargo since 1993.
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