A Jordan bound Ukrainian cargo plane crashes in Greece. Let that information settle while you consider the reality that an unknown quantity of weaponry exported into Ukraine by NATO nations has likely ended up elsewhere.
This has been acknowledged while being denied. Personally speaking I’ve no doubt weapons smuggling is taking place. Surely such a highly profitable operation is well worth the potential risk.
Nato and EU states are pushing for better tracking of weapons supplied to Ukraine in response to fears that criminal groups are smuggling them out of the country and on to Europe’s black market.
“All these weapons land in southern Poland, get shipped to the border and then are just divided up into vehicles to cross: trucks, vans, sometimes private cars,” said one of the western officials. “And from that moment we go blank on their location and we have no idea where they go, where they are used or even if they stay in the country.”
The potential for US weapons sent to Ukraine to fall into the wrong hands is “among a host of considerations” given the “challenging situation” on the ground in the country, said Bonnie Denise Jenkins, US under secretary for arms control and international security, on Tuesday.
An Antonov cargo plane operated by a Ukrainian airline crashed Saturday near the city of Kavala in northern Greece, killing all eight crew members on board, authorities said.
Local residents reported seeing a fireball and hearing explosions for two hours after the crash.
Greek Civil Aviation authorities said the flight was heading from Serbia to Jordan. The An-12 — a Soviet-built turboprop aircraft — was operated by the Ukranian cargo carrier Meridian.
As a precaution because of a strong smell emanating from the crash site, a coordinating committee made up of municipal, police and fire service officials told inhabitants of the two localities closest to the crash site to keep their windows shut all night, not to leave their homes and to wear masks.
Authorities say they were concerned that there were dangerous chemicals on the plane, including those contained in batteries.
Explosions continued for hours, say residents
Greece’s Civil Aviation Authority said the pilot managed to issue an alert about a problem in one of the plane’s engines, and he was given the choice of landing in either the Thessaloniki or Kavala airports. He opted for Kavala, which was closer, saying that he had to make an emergency landing.
Communication with the plane ceased almost immediately afterwards. The plane crashed about 40 kilometres west of the airport.
“We were hearing explosions until a few minutes ago,” Filippos Anastassiadis, mayor of the municipality of Paggaio, told AP a little over an hour after the accident. “I am about 300 meters from the site of the crash.”
One of Anastassiadis’ deputies told state broadcaster ERT that explosions were heard for two hours following the crash.
Locals reported seeing a fireball and a plume of smoke before the crash.
ERT reported that army and explosive experts were en route to the site, located on farmland close to two villages that are part of the Paggaio municipality, but they are not expected to start working before dawn. Experts from Greece’s Atomic Energy Commission will join them.
Looks like the plane turned around/turned back in order to attempt the landing in Greece.
Link & image Stuff.co.nz
DW– There is video footage at DW as well
It’s claimed final destination was Bangladesh? Was that where the arms were going? Or could they have been off loaded in Jordan- Easily transferred into Syria from that locale.
Nearby is the Rukban refugee camp- Already a Captagon smuggling haven- Can easily move weapons as needed.
“A specialist Greek military army unit that looks for nuclear, biological and chemical substances was expected to comb the site. The fire service has cordoned the area off at a radius of about 400 meters around the crash site.”
ERT reported that it was a Ukrainian aircraft, which according to villagers was already in flames before it crashed. The aircraft was still burning, according to live footage broadcast on state television.
One firefighter told reporters at the scene: “You need to go away for your safety. There is information that the aircraft was carrying ammunition.”
Anastassiadis told Open TV: “The aircraft crashed around two kilometres away from an inhabited area.”