23 March 2007

Kosovo forces discover weapons destined for Montenegro

BBC Monitoring Europe (Political) - December 14, 2006, Thursday


Text of report by D.Z. and M.V.R: "Assault rifles and Zoljas for terrorists" by Montenegrin newspaper Dan on 14 December


Dan learned that members of Kfor seized a large quantity of weapons destined for Montenegro located close to the border with our country. The shipment was buried in a forest, in Pec municipality, and it was discovered by Italian soldiers, who are guarding this Kosovo-Metohija town. The police believe that the weapons, discovered several days before the Eagle's Flight operation [during which Montenegrin police arrested several Albanians suspected of preparing terrorist attacks], was a part of a shipment that was to be smuggled to Montenegro. When they discovered this Italian soldiers arrested five persons from Kosovo who were members of an organized group tasked with transporting the weapons to Montenegro.


Kfor and the police are checking for possible links between this confiscation and the terrorist organization whose members were arrested in Malesija [area near Podgorica mostly inhabited by Albanians], because there are indications that weapon shipments were ordered by one person.


There are suspicions that the seized weapons were to be transported to Montenegro as a part of arms shipments the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army promised to the group arrested during the Eagle's Flight operation.


The shipment includes dozens of Zolja [anti-tank] rocket launchers, light machine guns, pistols, hand grenades, rifle grenades, anti-tank mines, various kinds of explosive, detonators and 9,120 pieces of various types of ammunition. The seized weapons are being checked for presence of detonators and blasting caps stolen from the explosives factory in Berane [town in northern Montenegro]. Kfor is looking for a person who is currently abroad and who is suspected of setting up the team arrested in Pec.


According to border crossing records, three of the arrested persons have entered Montenegro several times lately. The criminology processing of the data revealed that they met certain persons in Malesija on several occasions. The weapons seized by Kfor were hidden in a forest near the Montenegrin border. They were first placed in carton boxes, sealed with adhesive tape and then stacked in wooden boxes. The ammunition was placed in nylon bags and sacks and buried deeply. The weapons are mostly domestically-produced but some of the assault and semiautomatic rifles were produced abroad.


A part of the weapons was found in an abandoned house near Pec. Kfor is investigating links between the people they arrested and the persons arrested during the Eagle's Flight operation.


The Serbian Interior Ministry is also involved in the case and is keenly monitoring attempts to smuggle weapons from Kosovo to Montenegro because of a possible danger that new armed clashed might happen in the southern Serbian province.


Source: Dan, Podgorica, in Serbian 14 Dec 06, p12