Sudan: explosives ship is legitimate

June 24, 2003 at 8:00 AM
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KHARTOUM, Sudan, June 24 (UPI) -- Sudan has summoned the Greek ambassador to Khartoum to protest the Greek seizure of a ship laden with explosives.

The Baltic Sky set sail from Tunisia carrying 680 tons of explosives when it was stormed by special forces off Greece's western coast Sunday.

Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Ismail said the ship was carrying ammonium nitrates ordered by a Sudanese company and destined for cement factories and road-building firms, the BBC reported.

Greek officials said documents on board the ship linked it to the company but their initial inquiries indicated the firm did not exist.

The crew of seven -- five Ukrainians and two Azeris -- have been charged with possession and transport of explosives, an offence which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.

They have also been charged with failing to notify Greek authorities 24 hours in advance that they were transporting explosives into Greek waters.

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