Monday, September 10, 2012
Venezuela to release crew of U.S.-flagged cargo ship
Authorities in Venezuela will reportedly release the crew of a U.S. -flagged cargo ship that has been held in that country for over a week when they were initially accused of trafficking arms.
"While we haven't left yet, it looks like a positive solution has been reached," said a crewmember who emailed CNN on condition of anonymity.
A U.S. State Department official reportedly confirmed the charges were dropped on all 14 of the crew of the Ocean Atlas, operated by Intermarine and managed by Crowley Maritime, that first made port in Maracaibo on August 29.
A couple of days after docking, the crew was informed that an investigation was underway into suspected arms trafficking and the ship's captain, Jeffrey Raider of Texas was taken into custody and made to appear in court.
The crewmember that emailed CNN, said the Ocean Atlas' security team keeps rifles in a locker on board the vessel and that the captain declared them on arrival the Port of Maracaibo, claiming he was cleared to have the weapons.
However, Venezuelan authorities at the time denied permission has been given for the weapons and confiscated them, according to the crewmember.
For the full CNN story: cnn.com
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