British ship captain linked to arms smuggling
A British ship captain is wanted for questioning over the alleged smuggling of more than £1.25 million of high-powered firearms, officials said.
The captain of the Panamanian-registered ship at the centre of the investigation fled on board a private yacht moments before Philippines customs officials boarded the vessel and confiscated 54 rifles worth about £310,000 (Philippines Pesos 25 million) in five crates.
Customs commissioner Napoleon Morales said the firearms were mostly Indonesian-made Galil rifles and added officials also noted 15 empty crates and arrested 14 crew members during the raid, which took place off the port of Mariveles in Bataan on Thursday.
Mr Morales told the Philippines Daily Inquirer he wanted a swift resolution of the case "since this might affect our peace and order situation".
He said he believed the British captain left the ship on board the Mou Man Tai and the Philippine Air Force and Coastguard were now trying to locate the private yacht, which was last spotted near Palawan.
"Imagine what would happen if a terrorist group got hold of those powerful weapons. It would certainly affect our internal security," he said.
"I want the investigation to proceed without delay. If the evidence so warrants, the fact-finding team should hold all other persons involved criminally.
"The fact-finding committee will ensure air-tight criminal cases based on solid evidence, and not just hearsay, are filed in order to convict (suspects)."
Coastguard chief Admiral Wilfredo Tamayo added they were alerted by customs personnel to the presence of the suspected arms smuggling ship early on Thursday morning.
MH17 crash: Investigators discover more human remains and 'huge section of plane'
Susan Sarandon on David Bowie romance: 'He's worth idolising'
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Exclusive: Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ in tatters as charity watchdog launches investigation into claims of Government funding misuse
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss
- 1 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 2 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 3 Satellite full of sexually experimental geckos adrift in space, Russia loses control of mission
- 4 Exclusive: Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ in tatters as charity watchdog launches investigation into claims of Government funding misuse
- 5 Israel has discovered that it's no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media