The owners of a Ukrainian aircraft seized in northern Nigeria with a cargo of weapons say the authorities there have no reason to hold it. Nigerian officials say they found 18 crates of weapons on board the plane bound for Equatorial Guinea.
The Ukrainian company told Russian news agency Itar-Tass the aeroplane landed in Kano city to refuel and had all the correct permits and documents. It was initially reported that the aircraft had made an emergency landing. The plane was flying from Croatia and Ukrainian arms export agency Ukrspetseksport said the cargo did not belong to Ukraine.
“There were all [the] permits for this flight, including from the Nigerian authorities. There were no violations regarding either the plane or the cargo, or the documents,” Meridian Director-General Mykola Minyaylo was quoted as saying. “The plane was flying from Zagreb to Equatorial Guinea and landed in Nigeria to refuel.”
The seven-member crew had had their passports seized but were in good physical condition, he said. The BBC’s Mustafa Mohamed in Kano says the aircraft has been placed under guard, and security forces are continuing their investigations.
SOURCED FROM BBC