HAVANA TIMES — The Chong Chon Gang, a North Korean freighter that attempted to transport hidden Cuban weapons in a shipment of sugar, has been given the OK to leave Panama after being detained for seven months.
The Panamá Canal Authority informed of the decision on Saturday after the North Korean government paid a US $700,000 fine for the violation reported BBC Mundo.
Thirty-two of the thirty-five were freed at the end of January, however the captain and two other officers must remain to face charges of arms trafficking and endangering Panamanian lives with their clandestine shipment.
The Public Ministry of Panama announced plans last week to auction off the ten thousand tons of Cuban sugar that had acted as a cover for the buried weapons.
The fate of the Cuban weapons (including missiles platforms, two Mig-21 Bis, new aircraft engines and other aircraft supplies) has yet to be determined by the National Security Council of Panama.
A team of UN experts inspected the weapons and ruled in a preliminary report that the North Korean ship violated the UN resolutions that prevent Pyongyang from importing or exporting weapons.