Ship unloads dangerous cargo in Syria: officials

Ship unloads dangerous cargo in Syria: officials

ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News
Ship unloads dangerous cargo in Syria: officials

It was confirmed that Chariot unloaded 59,422 tons of dangerous cargo in Tartus. AA photo

A Russian ship confirmed that it unloaded “dangerous cargo” – believed to be munitions – in Syria in violation of an EU arms embargo after an unscheduled stop in Greek Cyprus, according to sources. 

The İskenderun Port Authority allowed the ship yesterday to dock in the southern district’s port after Turkish Customs and Coast Guard inspected it.

“It was confirmed that four containers carrying 59,422 tons [of dangerous cargo], according to the stowage cargo plan of the ship, were unloaded in Tartus on Jan. 12, 2012,” a Turkish diplomatic source told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday. 

The rest of the ship’s cargo was not dangerous and was due to be delivered to a company in the southeastern province of Gaziantep.

According to the port call log of the master, the ship departed from Limassol, Greek Cyprus, on Jan. 11 and arrived in Syria’s Tartus port on Jan. 12 before departing from there Jan. 13., according to sources.
Greek Cyprus allowed the ship, the Chariot, to leave Limassol after the ship’s owners, St. Petersburg-based Westberg Ltd., said it would head to Turkey instead of Syria.
The ship then vanished off radar screens after apparently switching off its Automatic Identification System (AIS), which enables vessels to be tracked.