Panama says North ship violated UN sanctions

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Panama says North ship violated UN sanctions

PANAMA - Cuban weapons seized aboard a North Korean ship in Panamanian waters last month are “without doubt” a violation of United Nations sanctions against arms transfers to Pyongyang, Panama said Wednesday, citing a UN report.

Panamanian authorities say they were given a preliminary report, presented by a panel of experts to the Sanctions Committee at the UN Security Council, according to a statement by Panama’s Ministry of Security.

“According to the first report presented by the panel of experts from the UN Sanctions Committee, the Cuban weapons found in the North Korean ship ‘without doubt’ violate the UN sanctions, which validates Panama’s position on how it acted,” the ministry said, citing the report.

“The panel confirmed the Panamanian evaluation that there is a violation of the sanctions regime,” a Security Council diplomat told Reuters.

Panamanian officials did not release the preliminary report prepared by the panel, which is an independent body tasked with reporting to the UN Security Council.

Panamanian investigators detained the Chong Chon Gang last month near the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal because they suspected it was carrying drugs. Weapons were found under 10,000 tons of Cuban sugar in sacks. Reuters

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