Mobile Version
Free Internet Press
  Uncensored News For Real People


FIP Year In Review

FIP Month in Review

FIP Archive Search




2013-11-28
Gamers Donate 37,500 Pounds Of Food To Needy

2013-09-30
Statement From The Whitehouse Regarding The Government Shutdown

2013-09-29
An Open Response To 'Organizing for Action'

2013-08-26
Bayou Corne: The Biggest Ongoing Disaster In The U.S. You Have Not Heard Of

2013-04-21
Boston Mayor Hopes Feds 'Throw the Book' at Marathon Bombing Suspect

2013-04-19
Boston Police Closing In On Suspects

2013-04-15
2 Explosions At Boston Marathon. 2 Dead, Many Injured.

2013-01-03
The Press vs Citizens Rights and Privacy - Act 3

2012-12-30
CBS News - Year In Review 2012

Nature.com - 366 Days: 2012 In Review

The Guardian - 2012 In Review: An Interactive Guide To The Year That Was

TruTV - The Biggest Conspiracy Theories of 2012

Colbert Nation: 2012: A Look Back

FIP Year In Review(s?)

2012-12-25
Happy Holidays

2012-12-21
Welcome To A New Era!

2012-12-16
An Open Letter To United Health Care, Medcom, And The Medical Insurance Industry In General

2012-11-17
Whitehouse Petition To Remove "Under God" and "In God" From Currency And The Pledge.

2012-11-15
December 21, 2012

2012-11-11
If Hillary Clinton Ran For President, She Would Probably Be The Best-prepared Candidate In American History

2012-11-10
CIA Director David Petraeus Resigns After FBI Investigation Uncovers Affair With High-Profile Journalist

FIP Format Update

2012-11-07
Thank you for voting.

2012-11-06
Live Election Results

2012-09-30
FIP In Hiatus

2012-09-18
U.S.-Afghan Military Operations Suspended After Attacks

Iran Nuclear Chief Says IAEA Might Be Infiltrated By 'Terrorists And Saboteurs'

Romney Stands By Gaffe

2012-09-17
President Obama Says China Trade Practices Harm American Auto Parts Workers

Tolerating Hate - Muslim Protests Show Limits Of Free Speech


Update: Contradictory Claims - Cargo On German Freighter Remains A Mystery
2012-04-18 02:37:40 (105 weeks ago)
Posted By: Intellpuke

The German freighter Atlantic Cruiser, suspected of carrying weapons destined for Syria, is still sailing around the Mediterranean Sea. The company that owns the vessel is contesting the allegation, but the ship's captain claims it is carrying explosives and detonators.

Mystery continues to shroud a German freighter ship chartered by a Ukrainian company that has been cruising around the Mediterranean Sea for a number of days now under the flag of Antigua and Barbuda. Politicians in Germany are in a state of alarm because of reports that the Atlantic Cruiser may be carrying military equipment and munitions allegedly intended for the regime of Bashar Assad, despite the European Union weapons embargo against Syria. SPIEGEL first reported on the developments over the weekend.

On Monday afternoon, the ship's owner, German shipping company Bockstiegel Reederei, commented officially for the first time on the allegations. The company said it had ordered the crew to inspect part of the cargo the ship is carrying. The company said that no weapons for Syria had been found.

"The cargo currently on board had been loaded in Mumbai, India and was destined for Syria, Turkey and Montenegro," the company said in a press release. The company said that according to documents at its disposal, the cargo destined for Syria is composed of "parts for a thermal power plant" that had been shipped by an Indian power plant manufacturer to the Syrian Ministry of Electricity. The company said it had "no indications that the cargo could be, as supposed in news reports, arms, ammunition and heavy weapons." The company said the charter contract with the Ukrainian company "provide(s) that the vessel is only allowed to carry 'lawful cargo,' i.e. that the cargo itself as well as its transport may not be made in breach of the law."

(story continues below)




Despite Bockstiegel Reederei's statement, questions remain. The company has provided extensive information about the contents of the cargo intended for Syria that was supposed to be unloaded at the end of last week in the Syrian port of Tartus. But the shipping company hasn't stated what the cargo destined for Turkey and Montenegro contained.

Abbreviations For Explosives And Electronic Equipment

But disclosures made by Atlantic Cruiser's captain indicate the ship is holding more than just the civilian goods on board that have so far been claimed. At the time the captain conducted the ship's transit through the Suez Canal and later at a planned fuel-tanking stop in Cyprus, he claimed he had been transporting cargo with the hazardous goods classes "UN 0105, 0030, 0029 and 0065," abbreviations for explosives and electrical equipment including detonators.

After the contents of the cargo were revealed, a Cypriot firm refused to provide fuel for the ship. The ship was not allowed to enter into Cyprus "because of the embargo on munitions being sent to Syria."

There have been conflicting statements about the cargo from the shipping company and the firm that is responsible for managing its freight, C.E.G. Bulk Chartering, as well from the Ukrainian firm that is currently chartering the Atlantic Cruiser.

According to Torsten Luddecke of C.E.G. Bulk Chartering, the loading papers list only civilian goods like "pumps and similar things." But the Ukrainian firm chartering the ship claims it contains "dangerous cargo," including munitions. However, the company claims they are intended for Turkey and Montenegro and not Syria. "In fact, the vessel isn't even calling (at) Syria at all!" the company stated in an email to Spiegel Online sent over the weekend. Ship owner Bockstiegel Reederei, however, claims the ship had intended to call at Tartus in Syria, but only to unload the power plant parts, according to its statement.

The German government has said it will seek to resolve the case as quickly as possible. After all, in diplomatic terms, things could get extremely uncomfortable for Berlin if a German ship were involved in trafficking weapons to the Assad regime. Earlier this week, the Foreign Ministry in Berlin asked its embassies in Nicosia, Beirut and Ankara to contact officials in their host countries to involve them in the matter.

'Ship Owner Was Requested Not To Call At Syrian Ports'

As of Tuesday, the ship still hasn't entered into any port, although shipping company Bockstiegel Reederei's statement said it will soon dock at the Turkish port of Iskenderun. Last Friday, the ship had been stopped off the coast of Syria, turned around and the driven in circles for a time. The ship had been ordered to stop after Syrian opposition politicians warned it was carrying military equipment.

"The ship owner was requested not to call at Syrian ports," Bockstiegel Reederei's statement read. "Otherwise, the vessel would be attacked and sunk." The company said the email had been sent by an organization identifying itself as the "Syrian Revolution Naval Forces."

It also remains a mystery why the transponder that allows the ship's location to be determined has frequently been turned off for extended periods in recent days. On Monday, the Automatic Identification System (AIS) had been turned off once again -- a step described as highly unusual by shipping industry observers. But the shipping firm defended the measure, saying, "Apparently for the sake of its own protection, the crew deactivated the AIS for a certain amount of time in order to prevent the ship from getting attacked."

The explanation still sounds a bit odd, especially given that the ship waited for a full day and a half off the coast of Syria before heading in the direction of Turkey.

Intellpuke: You can read this article by Spiegel journalists Veit Medick and Christoph Reuter in context here: http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,828070,00.html


Email To A Friend
Email this story to a friend:
Your Name:
Their Email:
 
Readers Comments
Add your own comment.
(Anonymous commenting now enabled.)

Creative Commons License
Free Internet Press is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. You may reuse or distribute original works on this site, with attribution per the above license.

Any mirrored or quoted materials may be copyright their respective authors, publications, or outlets, as shown on their publication, indicated by the link in the news story. Such works are used under the fair use doctrine of United States copyright law. Should any materials be found overused or objectionable to the copyright holder, notification should be sent to editor@freeinternetpress.com, and the work will be removed and replaced with such notification.

Please email editor@freeinternetpress.com with any questions.

Our Privacy Policy can be viewed at https://freeinternetpress.com/privacy_policy.php

XML/RSS/RDF Newsfeed Syndication XML/RSS/RDF Newsfeed Syndication: http://freeinternetpress.com/rss.php

XML/RSS/RDF Newsfeed Syndication XML News Sitemap