The Greek Coast Guard seized some 5 000 guns and boxes with ammunition aboard a Libya-bound cargo ship that had been monitored by Frontex as part of the Eurosur Fusion Services.
The vessel, HADDAD 1, was being observed by Frontex based on intelligence gathered by the agency and a number of EU member states. It was intercepted by the Greek Coast Guard in the early morning hours on Tuesday on suspicion of weapon smuggling. The ship was on its way from Iskenderun, Turkey, to Libya.
The Greek officers found guns and boxes with nearly 500 000 bullets hidden in containers among items such as furniture and gym mats. The seized weapons and ammunition were unloaded in the port of Heraklion, Crete.
“Frontex had been keeping track of this vessel for some time. This is one of the many ways in which we support the border control services of EU countries in their operational activities,” said Piotr Malinowski, Eurosur Services Coordinator.
“We worked closely with the European Maritime Safety Agency, using modern technology available in Eurosur,” he added.
Eurosur is an information exchange framework to improve the management of Europe’s external borders.
The Eurosur services already include automated large vessel tracking and detection capabilities, software functionalities allowing complex calculations for predicting positions and detecting suspicious activities of vessels, as well as precise weather and oceanographic forecasts. Fusion Services use optical and radar satellite technology to help locate vessels suspected of being engaged in cross border crime.