Ukraine detains North Korean "drug" ship.
A NORTH Korean general cargoship found carrying contraband ranging from heroin substitute drugs to alcohol, cigarettes and Kalashnikov bullets has been detained at a Ukrainian port, according to an official statement from the country"s state border guard service.
An initial customs search of Chong Chon Gang, 1979-built, 14,000 dwt at Oktyabrsk yesterday revealed a haul including a quantity of the narcotic diazepam and a tissue-wrapped cardboard box containing ammunition for an AK-47 in a technical compartment on the lower deck.
The master said that he had traded the bullets from local residents in Somalia, in exchange for food, according to a Lloyd"s Marine Intelligence Unit correspondent.
It is known that Chong Chon Gong came under attack from pirates in March 2009 at a point about 400 miles off Somalia. Two seafarers were reportedly injured during the incident.
During further searches with sniffer dogs, more goods were uncovered, including undeclared alcoholic drinks, cigarettes, 880 kg of paint and another cache of medication containing banned drugs.
Subsequently found hidden in the engine room were two plastic bags with 500 generic valium pills and 20 Codeine tablets. The vessel is currently the subject of a criminal case for smuggling, under article 201 of the criminal code of Ukraine.
According to the Lloyd"s MIU database, the vessel is associated with Chongchongang Shipping Co of Pyongyang. No contact details were available for the company.