Yemen court jails 3 Albanians over arms smuggling

AFP , Sunday 17 Feb 2013

Three Albanians were sentenced to jail for six years in Yemen for charges smuggling arms and explosives into the country

A Yemeni court on Sunday sentenced three Albanians arrested in the eastern Hadramawt province to six years in prison for smuggling arms and explosives into the country, a judicial source said.

The three were arrested in December as they smuggled 179.5 tonnes of ammunition in a ship and were found guilty of trafficking military equipment into Yemen, the source said.

The judge "read the verdict in which the defendants were sentenced to six years and the ship and explosives confiscated," the source added, saying their case was heard by a court specialised in terrorism cases.

The defendants, whose trial began in January, said they will appeal the verdict, and insisted that they had stopped in the port city of Mukalla to refuel the ship, the source said.

The ship, with flags of Kenya and Moldova on it, had arrived from Monte Negro.

The charge sheet says the boat remained in international waters before entering Yemen's territorial waters where its crew claimed they wanted to refuel.

In a separate case Yemeni authorities last month seized what they say is a ship loaded with Iran-linked arms. The eight-member Yemeni crew of the shiap are being questioned.

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