The Celtic League has warned the Finnish authorities that it has been alleged in the past that munitions carried on Manx registered vessels have been transhipped before reaching their alleged destination.
The move comes after the Finns detained a Manx vessel carrying Patriot missiles from Germany to South Korea.
The League says that whilst it has no reason to believe the cargo on the detained vessel is other than legitimate it has been made aware in the past of alleged transhipment of arms.
In a letter to the Finnish Interior Ministry the League cite information received from the Israeli Embassy in London in 2010 (see below):
Minister of the Interior
Government of Finland
I note comments ascribed to your Department following the detention of the MV Thor Liberty following concerns surrounding the documentation relating to its cargo of Patriot Missiles.
Your government needs to be aware that arms (including missiles) previously carried on Manx registered vessels (or vessels managed by ship agents based in the Isle of Man) has been transhipped before reaching its destination.
The Celtic League, which monitors these matters, was advised by the Israeli Embassy in London that in September 2010:
“in November 2009 a Douglas-registered ship (`Visea’), owned by Douglas-based `Byfleet Shipping’ transferred 320 tons worth of arms shipments, including 9,000 mortar shells, thousands of 107-mm Katyusha rockets, 600 122-mm rockets, and hundreds of thousands of rounds of Iranian ammunition, onto another ship, `Francop’, destined for Hezbollah, it seems that the Isle of Man government may indeed have acted in breach of UN Security Council Resolution 1747.”
Obviously at this time we have no reason to believe that the arms being carried on the vessel detained by your country are not in legitimate transit. However it may be prudent if you advise Finnish Customs about these previous allegations in relation to Manx vessels so that necessary assurances can be obtained.
Director of Information
For comment or clarification on this news item in the first instance contact:
Rhisiart Tal-e-bot, General Secretary, Celtic League:
Tel: 0044 (0)1209 319912
M: 0044 (0)7787318666
The General Secretary will determine the appropriate branch or General Council Officer to respond to your query.
ISSUED BY THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE.