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Custom Discover Attempt of Arms Smuggling From Ukraine

BASA-Press (Chisinau) / FBIS, Transcript

8 April 1999

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CHISINAU -- Moldovan customs services have spoiled an attempt of illegal arms traffic when a Ukrainian transit plane landed Wednesday on the Chisinau airport.

A team of customs officers while checking up the plane found 4,000 Makarov handguns and 1,000 R handguns, identical to the known Russian-made TT pistols.

The plane was following the route Budapest-Chisinau-Sofia, according to departure papers.

Sources in the Interior Ministry, who requested to remain anonymous, said the arms were found without documents while the accompanying servicemen showed papers for other items.

They said the guns were sold to Yemen, raising suspicion that the destination was Yugoslavia, according to sources.

The Customs Department confirmed that it halted an arms smuggling attempt, but declined to give details.

On March 12, the transportation police found an arms manufacturing line aboard a Ukrainian plane which, too, wrote in papers it was flying to Yemen.

An investigation is underway.

[Description of FBIS Source: Basa-Press: Independent press agency close to pro-Romanian political forces in Moldova]

ID: N9

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