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April 20, 2004
Italy: 1000s of Automatic Weapons Bound for US

Italy announced that they have seized a ship with thousands of Kalishnikov rifles, apparently illegal, bound for the US -- raising the question of their intended use:

Police in southern Italy say they have seized a large illegal arms shipment from Romania destined for the US. Customs officers in the port of Gioia Tauro, in Calabria, discovered 7,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles after noting irregularities in the documentation.

The cargo, estimated to be worth some 6m euros (3.9m, $7.15m), was declared as arms for civilian, not military, use.

Italian authorities stopped the shipment when they discovered "discrepancies" between the goods and the customs declaration by the shipper. The cargo included such accessories as reloading devices and bayonets. While the so-called assault rifles are legal for collectors, 7,000 of them seem to be a bit much for that market niche, and the Italians became very suspicious of their intended use. The receiver is an American company that will likely be answering some tough questions today from the FBI.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at April 20, 2004 6:26 AM

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