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Panama releases 32 North Koreans in undeclared arms cargo case

Published on Jan 31, 2014 10:58 AM
 
View of North Korean cargo Chong Chon Gang moored at Manzanillo harbour in Colon, 90km from Panama City, on July 16, 2013. Panamanian authorities have released 32 of the 35 North Koreans detained since July after an undeclared cargo of Cuban arms was found on their ship, prosecutors said on Jan 31, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

PANAMA CITY (AFP) - Panamanian authorities have released 32 of the 35 North Koreans detained since July after an undeclared cargo of Cuban arms was found on their ship, prosecutors said Thursday.

The remaining three North Koreans - the Chong Chon Gang vessel's captain, first officer and political secretary - face trial on arms trafficking charges, prosecutor Nathaniel Murgas told reporters.

He said the organized crime office ordered the sailors' release on Tuesday, and that they were turned over to immigration authorities.

The other crew members face up to 12 years in prison if convicted of arms smuggling.

 
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