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Finland: “Patriot” smugglers were discovered by dock workers seeking after more fireworks to be used during Christmas Holidays.

Europe Security News. The vessel Thor Liberty is docked in Kotka, Finland. Photo Credit Reuters

The authorities of Finland have impounded a ship bound for China with undeclared missiles and explosives, officials say.

The vessel´s flagg was from Isle of Man, and its name Thor Liberty.

The finnish Police found aboard 69 Patriot anti missile rockets. As a result of the findings. authorities are questioning the crew of the MS Thor Liberty.

The shipment was illegal and the finnish government informed that the missiles were marked as  “fireworks”.

What a bad joke: the smugglers were sending fireworks to its inventors: the chinese.

Finland obligated MS Thor Liberty to dock in the port of Kotka.

The missiles could have been shipped in the port of Emden (Northern Germany), since the vessel last port was that country, last week.

Dock workers became suspicious after finding explosives poorly stored on open pallets, and the missiles were then found in containers marked as “fireworks”.

The vessel´s owners told press that they were unaware of what happened, said  Thomas Mikkelsen from Thorco Shipping.

According to Finnish media reports the ship had also been scheduled to stop in South Korea.

The Patriot missile is a surface to air missile SAM system, and it is  manufactured by U.S. company Raytheon. The functions of a Patrior are various: as a High to Medium Air Defense (HIMAD) system, as a medium tactical air defense system and as a anti-ballistic missile ABM system (which is now Patriot’s primary mission), besides being used as “fireworks” in China (as in this shipment).

In Europe, the Patriot systems have only been sold to Germany, Netherlands and Spain.  Poland hosts training activities of a battery of U.S. Patriot launchers (in Torun).

After North Korea test-launched ballistic missiles to the Sea of Japanand proceeded with underground nuclear testing in 2006, the Government of South Korea also purchased several second-hand Patriot systems from Germany, with U.S. approval.