|allegedly smuggling ammunition to Cuba held in Colombia|
On March 2, 2015 the news broke that the government of Colombia had seized a shipment of ammunition bound for Cuba on a China-flagged ship due to a lack of proper documentation.
The BBC today reported that "Officials said about 100 tons of gunpowder, almost three million detonators and some 3,000 cannon shells were found on board. The ship's records said it was carrying grain products."
|Photo: Prosecutor's Office/EPA|
According to The Guardian the final destination is a front company for the Cuban military and the ammunition was supplied by a Chinese manufacturer:
Photos of the crates containing the gunpowder, published by the Cartagena newspaper El Universal, showed they were destined for a company called TecnoImport in Cuba, which according to several blogs is a procurement branch of the Cuban armed forces.What goes unmentioned in the reporting is that the ship with COSCO markings, although presented as a commercial entity, is apparently an arm of the Chinese military establishment. COSCO ships have also been involved in smuggling weapons into the United States.
The company officially lists itself as an importer of machinery and industrial products. The supplier is listed on the crates as Norico, a Chinese manufacturer of machinery and chemical products, as well high-tech defense products.
Now that Communist China has eclipsed the United States as the largest economy in the world this kind of thing will probably be occuring more often and the consequences to American lives and property should be of concern.
At the same time it is interesting to note that in 2013 with North Korea and now again with China in 2015 the Castro regime has been linked to scandals involving arms smuggling. Blogging by Boz reaches a reasonable conclusion: "Two big shipments of weapons seized in 20 months means that this is probably a regular occurrence."