Date
19 November 2017
Colombian authorities say they stopped a China Cosco vessel last Saturday for illegally carrying explosives and other arms. Photo: AFP
Colombian authorities say they stopped a China Cosco vessel last Saturday for illegally carrying explosives and other arms. Photo: AFP

Colombia detains China Cosco ship over illegal arms

Colombian officials have detained a vessel operated by Cosco Shipping Co. for illegally transporting cannon shells, gunpowder and other materials used to make explosives, Reuters reported.

Authorities stopped the vessel, Da Dan Xia, in Cartagena port as the ship was preparing to head for Cuba, the report said, citing the Colombian attorney general’s office.

The cargo was listed in the vessel’s records as grain products, but an inspection found about 100 tons of gunpowder, 2.6 million detonators and some 3,000 cannon shells, according to the report. 

The captain of the Hong Kong-flagged vessel has been arrested, officials were quoted as saying.

The Chinese foreign ministry said the ship was carrying ordinary military supplies to Cuba and was not in violation of any international obligations.

“It is completely normal military trade cooperation. At present, China is communicating with Colombia on this matter,” a ministry spokeswoman was quoted as saying.

Cosco Shipping is part of the state-backed China Ocean Shipping Group Co. (COSCO) conglomerate.

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