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25 Dec, 2009 10:42

Plane seized in Thailand with North Korean arms was destined for Ukraine

Ukraine was the final destination of the plane that was seized in Thailand two weeks ago for carrying a cargo of weaponry from North Korea.

Chief pilot Ilyas Isakov insists the crew was not aware of the illegal content of the additional cargo it was carrying, along with oil well tubes, RIA Novosti news agency quoted the pilot as of saying.

The plane leased to a Ukrainian company was seized in Thailand on December 12 with over 35 tons of North Korean weaponry onboard. The crew was subsequently accused of arms smuggling.

The load, made up of rocket launchers and missile systems, is said to have been intended for conflict zones in the Middle East.

A UN Security Council resolution bans North Korea from exporting these kinds of arms.

The plane’s crew has been charged with weapons possession and smuggling and, if found guilty, could face the death penalty.