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Panama releases 32 North Koreans in arms case

Published on Jan 31, 2014 3:37 AM

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.

"On Tuesday, the organized crime office ordered the release of 32 crew members of the 'Chong Chon Gang,'" the prosecutor in the case Nahaniel Murgas told reporters, adding they were turned over to immigration authorities.

The remaining three North Koreans will go to trial on arms trafficking charges, Murgas said.

The North Korean freighter was stopped July 10 on suspicion of carrying drugs as it tried to enter the Panama Canal.

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