‘Andromeda’ freighter crew charged with violation of laws on weapons

The eight-man crew of the Tanzania-flagged freighter “Andromeda”, which was seized by the Greek coast guard near Crete after authorities found it was carrying 29 crates of explosives and other materials used in the making of bombs, received a deadline until Monday (Jan. 15) to make their plea to the prosecutor of Piraeus on Thursday.

The crew, five Indians, two Ukrainians and one Albanian, are charged with violating laws on supplying groups with weapons and explosives and disruption of ship safety.

The freighter had been sailing from port to port in the last two months laden with 410 tonnes of explosives and, according to the coast guard, it was bound for Libya. The European Union has issued a directive that bans the sale of transportation of weapons and explosives to Libya. Authorities also identified 102 safety concerns relating to the ship’s seaworthiness.

Speaking earlier to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA), Capt. Theodoros Rellos, the manager of the shipping company that owns the vessel, said that there was nothing illegal about the cargo of explosives being carried by “Andromeda”.

“The crew should not have been held and led before a public prosecutor. If the authorities ask for further clarifications I am ready to provide them in detail,” Rellos said.