Aship carrying 20 tons of weapons was detained at Dong Village Prek Phmeou
commune, Pomhea Leu district along the river from the Tonle Sap Reasmey
Kampuchea reported last week.
The ship Chau Giang Hai Phong was making a
return journey to Vietnam when it was stopped.
On its voyage to Phnom
Penh, it had carried spare engine parts and cement.
On its return, it was
laden with 300 tons of the old iron.
Upon inspection, police discovered
more than 20 tons of assorted used weapons including M-16s, B-40s and AK-47s,
with 20 percent of the weapons functional and the rest requiring minor
Dam Van Viet, captain of the 19-man Vietnamese crew, claimed
that a company named Uy Sampromexim rented the ship for the Phnom Penh-Vietnam
journey for $10,000.
He said he was not aware that there were weapons on
board as he was not there when the cargo was loaded.
Uy Sampromexim is
owned by the wife of Uy Sambath, Vice Director of customs and former Minister of
Cambodia has vast supplies of used weapons which can be
purchased easily in the capital, one public market on the road to the airport
openly sells sophisticated armaments from many countries.
shipments have previously been intercepted on the Thai border on their way to
arm Burmese rebels fighting the country's brutal military regime.
observers were unable to speculate on the likely final destination of the
weapons seized on board the ship.
One analyst noted a certain irony in
the fact that while troups fighting in the northwest complained regularly about
inadequate arms supplies, such a large stockpile of hardware was headed for the