Greek customs seizes 16 Libya-bound armoured vehicles


Customs service officials in the Greek port of Piraeus have sixteen armoured vehicles to Libya in violation of the United Nations arms embargo.

Officials from the Piraeus Sixth Customs Directorate boarded the MV Tychy at the nearby port of Keratsini on July 21 and found eight Streit Group Typhoon 4×4 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, five armoured Toyota Land Cruisers, two armoured BMW sedans and one armoured Mercedes sedan. The vehicles were impounded while the ship was allowed to continue on its way.

The MV Tychy is operated by Liberia registered but Greek controlled company Reefer & General Ship Management Co, according to IHS Janes, and was scheduled to travel to Turkey and then Libya. It had earlier called at La Spezia in Italy and was bound for the Libyan port of Khalid near Misrata.

A statement released by the customs service on July 22 said the MV Tychy and its cargo was impounded because the delivery of any military equipment violates UN Security Council Resolution 1970 of March 2013, which prohibits any direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer of military and paramilitary equipment to Libya.

Earlier this year the United Nations Security Council Panel of Experts accused several state and non-state actors of arming rival Libyan factions in violating of the embargo. In a comprehensive report released on February 23, the UN experts said companies from the Ukraine, Belarus, Bulgaria, Hungary, Greece, Jordan, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Qatar and Turkey are still arming different factions in Libya.

It says although the UN allows the sale of weapons to Libya subject to approval by the Security Council, an analysis of transfers done between 2011 and August 2014 shows that most deals violated the arms embargo as the parties never sought UN permission for sales.
“Analysis of all such notifications shows that large quantities of materiel were subject to the notification process, including more than 60 000 handguns, 65 000 assault rifles, 15 000 sub-machine guns and 4 000 machine guns of various calibres, as well as more than 60 million rounds of ammunition for small arms and machine guns (9×19 mm to 14.5 mm),” the report said in an analysis of the Libyan small arms trade since 2011.

The Libya National Army has been known to operate Streit Typhoons.