Egypt blocked a Tanzania-flagged ship carrying 410 tons of explosive materials from Turkey destined to Ethiopia from crossing the Suez Canal. The blockage forced the ship to be stranded in the Mediterranean Sea for up to 6 weeks, before it was intercepted by Greek Coast Guard after the ship was detected sailing along the Greek island of Crete on Saturday seeking emergency medical attention for one its crew members and in need of refueling. The Coast Guard has since taken the ship and its dangerous cargo to Heraklion port, Crete, for thorough investigation.
Greek bomb experts flown from Athens to the port of Heraklion conducted an investigation and they discovered that the ship named “Andromeda” was carrying 29 containers filled with ammonium nitrate, detonators, special gels, all materials that can be used in building bombs. In addition, the ship was carrying 11 empty Liquefied Petroleum Gas tanks.
The Director of the Greek Coast Guard’s Security, Rear Admiral Yannis Argyriou referred to the ship as a “mobile bomb” that, if it had “exploded”, there would have been unpredictable tragic consequences for the people in Heraklion and the marine environment. He told reporters that the explosive materials found in the ship could be used “for all sorts of work, from making bombs to carrying out acts of terrorism.”
Two Ukrainians, five Indians and one Albanian crew members of the ship were arrested and they are scheduled for a court hearing in Piraeus on Monday.