(FRANCE24) — Panama’s President Ricardo Martinelli on Monday said authorities there had seized a North Korean-flagged ship travelling from Cuba with suspected sophisticated missile material.

“The world needs to sit up and take note: you cannot go around shipping undeclared weapons of war through the Panama Canal,” Martinelli told Radio Panama.

“We had suspected this ship, which was coming from Cuba and headed to North Korea, might have drugs aboard, so it was brought into port for search and inspection,” he said, describing a dramatic scene in which the ship’s captain tried to kill himself.

“The captain tried to commit suicide, and the crew also rioted,” when police moved in, Martinelli said. “So we are holding this vessel for further investigation.”

  • Text smaller
  • Text bigger
Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.