Arms-smuggling crew deported

THE cargo crew of the Il-76 at the centre of the North Korean weapons smuggling operation seized in Thailand are to be deported back to their home countries. The Thai attorney general’s office said it was not in the “national interest” to pursue the case. Belarus and Kazakhstan have claimed that they will prosecute the men instead.The crew and their shipment of 35 tons of explosives, rocket-propelled grenades, surface-to-air missiles and other weaponry were seized last year. A lengthy investigationA labyrinthine network of shell companies eventually led back to Alexander Zykov, owner of the Kazakhstani airfreight company East Wing. Zykov claims that the crew were on temporary leave when they were caught. Zykov is a prominent businessman in Almaty and Shymkent, where his core business is based.Air Cargo News eagerly awaits the findings of the no doubt imminent and speedy court proceedings.

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