Friday, December 29, 2006

Macedonian military intelligence chief sacked over smuggled army weapons

SKOPJE, Macedonia: Macedonia's military intelligence chief has been sacked after police seized a consignment of army weapons allegedly being smuggled to Bulgaria, the country's defense minister said Wednesday.

Lazar Elenovski said military intelligence failed to prevent the new weapons from leaving army warehouses.

The defense minister said another two senior military intelligence officers were also removed. He did not name the three officials.

Macedonian police seized three trucks loaded with undocumented weapons two weeks ago and arrested four Bulgarian men on smuggling charges.

The suspects claimed the cargo, including 300 new German-made MG-3 machine guns, was decommissioned Macedonian army material headed for a Bulgarian scrap metal company. A preliminary investigation confirmed Bulgaria was the trucks' destination.

Elenovski said the arms delivery contract had not been certified by army officials.

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