Haddad 1, a Bolivian-flagged vessel was seized by a Greek coastguard in September 2015. The vessel was documented to carry only household items like pieces of furniture like drawers and cupboards. This vessel was headed towards Misrata, a port in Libya which is currently under the control of Islamist coalition called Libya Dawn.
The vessel which was supposed to be carrying furniture on board was thoroughly checked by the Greek Coast Guard to find 500,000 rounds of ammunition and 5,000 rifles along with 4900 cartons of cigarettes.
Official statements after seizing Haddad
“When we opened the containers there was a first layer of household items as a cover, which, if removed [revealed] the weapons and ammunition,” the official said.
After the news of the ship’s seizure, the Turkish foreign ministry claimed the shipment was fully documented and destined for the Sudanese police force. Speaking to Reuters, spokesman Tanju Bilgic also pledged to cooperate with Greek authorities if evidence to the contrary was found.
However, the the Greek officials said, “Regardless of what is stated by the Turkish MFA, we haven’t found any such document on-board the vessel or established any link with any Sudanese entity, public or private, neither have we found documents connecting the cargo with Sudanese territories,”.
Speculations are been made that the Turkish weapons were for Islamists in Libya in exchange for oil.
Four Syrians, two Indians and one Egyptian national, aged between 20 and 51, are a part of the Haddad 1 crew have been arrested and indicted on charges of illegal smuggling. They remain in pre-trial detention pending the ongoing investigation. None of them have any known previous criminal convictions.
There are two Indians in custody in Greece since September 2015 and yet no media has covered this story till now. Can we know why?