Weapons seized in Nigeria 'came from Iran'
Crates of weapons including rocket launchers and mortars seized in Nigeria this week were loaded in Iran by a local trader, the company which shipped the containers said on Saturday.
French-based shipping group CMA CGM said it had been the victim of a false cargo declaration and that the weapons and ammunitions were in sealed containers which had been declared as "packages of glass wool and pallets of stone".
Nigeria's secret service intercepted the 13 containers in the country's main port of Lagos - one of Africa's busiest - this week and said it found rocket launchers, grenades and other explosives and ammunition.
"The shipment in question was booked as a 'shipper's owned container' and supplied loaded and sealed by the shipper, an Iranian trader who does not appear on any 'forbidden persons' listing," CMA CGM said in a statement.
"The containers were loaded in Bandar Abbas and discharged in Lagos in July," it said, adding it was cooperating fully with local and international agencies investigating the shipment.
Israeli media reports, citing Israeli defence officials, have suggested the weapons may have been destined for Hamas Islamists in Gaza and that a new smuggling route was being tested. Israel's foreign ministry has declined to comment.
Israel says its arch-foe Iran bankrolls attempts to ship weapons to the Gaza Strip by sea or land routes. Iran says its support for Hamas is diplomatic only.
The Iranian embassy in Nigeria said it may issue a statement on the arms seizure in the coming days.
One shipment caught/reported... numerous made it through.