Smuggling MiG-21

On 19th July 2013, Panamanian investigators unloading the cargo of a seized North Korean ship that carried arms from Cuba have found the two MiG-21 fighter jets..

Alongside the two supersonic planes, originally produced by the Soviet Union in the late 1950s, officials found two missile radar systems on board the Chong Chon Gang, President Ricardo Martinelli told reporters in the Atlantic port of Colon.

The discovery, which included cables and electrical equipment, was made inside containers on the ship Panama had feared might contain explosive material. None was found.

Panama has asked the U.N. Security Council to investigate the ship and its contents amid suspicion that the vessel is in breach of a wide-ranging arms embargo on North Korea for its nuclear and ballistic missile program.

Javier Caraballo, Panama’s top anti-drugs prosecutor, said the planes gave off a strong odor of gasoline, indicating that they had likely been used recently.

The weapons were hidden under thousands of sacks of sugar on the freighter. Before the arms were discovered, Cuba told Panama the cargo was a donation of sugar for the people of North Korea.

The isolated Asian nation has asked Panama to release the ship and its 35 member crew, who were arrested and charged with attempting to smuggle undeclared weapons through the canal.

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