Tuesday, December 26, 2006

4 Bulgarians arrested for arms smuggling in Macedonia

Police seized three trucks loaded with weapons and arrested four Bulgarian men on smuggling charges, authorities said Saturday.

The four suspects — aged between 26 to 48 — were taken into custody late Thursday after police searched the unescorted trucks with Bulgarian license plates on a highway near the capital, Skopje. They found 300 new German-made MG-3 machine guns and 33 M-43 mine-throwers.

Police did not disclose the destination of the convoy.

The suspects carried no documents for the cargo. They said they had been transporting arms as part of an agreement between a Bulgarian and Macedonian metal companies involving repaired weapons decommissioned by the Macedonian army.

But the seized weapons were new, said Ljupco Todorovski, director of the National Bureau for public security.

"This is a very odd case and we will continue investigations," Todorovski said.

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