Friday, February 08, 2013
Yemen Flooded with 60 Million Smuggled Arms
Yemen's Ministry of Interior on Wednesday reported seizing Turkish-made weapons at a security checkpoint at the main entrance of the port city of Aden.
In a statement posted on its website, the ministry said that the weapons were hidden in boxes, and that security forces detected them during a routine inspection.
The vehicle carrying the weapons arrived from the capital, Sanaa, about 363 km north of Aden, the ministry added.
According to ministry officials, the illegal trade of Turkish guns, rifles, and other small explosives has risen in Sanaa and other major cities. Campaigns are being conducted to combat arms trafficking from the country. Authorities at the Yemeni port cities of Aden, Mukalla, and al-Hodaida have all announced the seizure of illegal Turkish weapons in recent months.
The Yemeni government has not revealed the identity of the individuals behind the smuggling of weapons into the country, but declared that an investigation is underway.
Earlier this week, Yemen confirmed that a ship intercepted on Jan. 23 carrying concealed cargo including a large quantity of weapons such as anti-aircraft missiles originated in Iran. The Yemeni news agency, Saba Press, citing a governmental security source, said that the seized weapons include SAT 2 and SAT 3 missiles hidden in a container.
This poor Arab country has already been flooded with about 60 million weapons, invigorated by a Shiite rebellion in the north and a growing secessionist movement in the south, as well as the growing presence of Al-Qaeda in the southeast regions.