Eight held in Greece for sending weapons to Turkey

Athens, August 1 (IANS) Eight suspects have been arrested in a nationwide probe into a failed attempt to illegally transfer weapons and ammunition to neighbouring Turkey by sea, officials said.

The eight suspects — three Greeks and five Kurds of Turkish nationality — were arrested in connection with the seizure of an inflatable boat carrying the cargo off the eastern Aegean Sea island of Chios, Xinhua cited police as saying.

A total of 14 people have been detained during investigations in Chios, Athens and the northern city of Thessaloniki.

Police said a routine check by the coast guard revealed anti-tank mortars, hand grenades, handguns, ammunition and other explosive devices.

The key suspects face charges of terrorism and possession and transport of illegal arms.

One of the Greeks arrested is a maritime academy student who claimed he was paid a small sum of money to take the boat to Turkey, without knowing about the cargo.

Police said anti-terrorism squads also confiscated fake passports, mobile phones, personal computers, USB flash drives and print material in several apartments during the investigation.

Police told Xinhua that authorities were investigating possible links between Greek and Kurdish guerilla groups, such as the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (or DHKP-C).

Turkish authorities said one of the people arrested is a key DHKP-C member involved in a bomb attack at the Turkish justice ministry in Ankara in March this year and that his extradition would be sought.

IANS 2013-08-01 06:36:06

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