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Oman arms seizure sees 9 arrested

Police say 30,393 pistols bound for another country were confiscated from a tanker

  • Sunil Vaidya, Bureau Chief
  • Published: 12:19 July 11, 2013
  • Gulf News

Muscat: The Royal Oman Police (ROP) arrested nine citizens in connection with the seizure of arms from the Sohar Industrial Port, about 231km north of Muscat, according to a press release issued on Wednesday night.

Sources said the nine were held for their complicity in the arms seizure case without giving further details of the kind of help they provided.

Earlier this week, Oman police seized arms concealed in a container that docked at the Sohar Industrial Port en route to another country.

In reply to a question on the status of the container’s crew, a source, on condition of anonymity, revealed that the container was not allowed to sail out of Sohar Port and further investigations were ongoing.

“As and when needed further information would be released,” he said. The police have not revealed if the any member of the crew is placed under arrest so far.

According to sources the container came from Turkey and was headed to Yemen although the official ROP version has refrained from naming the country from where the container with large number of pistols came and where it was headed before being seized here at Sohar.

“The nine suspected Omanis were held last Monday for their role in arms seizure,” Colonel Abdullah Bin Saleh Al Ghailani, Commandant of Governorate of North Al Batinah Police, said in a statement released through Oman News Agency (ONA).

“We recovered 30,393 pistols hidden inside eight containers after the ship docked at the port in Sohar,” he revealed.

He further said that the suspects transported the consignment to Sohar Industrial Port with fake documents. However, the ROP Commandant added, that the ROP officers foiled the attempt to smuggle fire arms.

“The seized cargo was meant to be sent to another country,” he pointed out without naming the country where the large numbers of pistols were destined to go.

Investigations prior to the arrival of the shipment to Sohar Industrial Port, according to Colonel Al Ghailani, enabled detection of the shipment and arrest of the suspects who were referred to the Public Prosecution for further proceedings.

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