Associated Press October 3, 2003, UNITED NATIONS # The U.N. weapons inspection agency said Friday it had no independent confirmation of a report that Kuwaiti security authorities foiled an attempt to smuggle $60 million worth of chemical weapons and biological warheads from Iraq to a European country. The report, which appeared Wednesday in a Kuwaiti newspaper that is close to Kuwait’s government, attributed the information to an unidentified security source.
“It sounds like an unusual story,” said Ewen Buchanan, spokesman for the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, which was in charge of biological and chemical weapons inspections in Iraq. “We don’t have any independent confirmation, but would like to know more about it.”
The Kuwaiti newspaper, Al-Siyassah, reported that the suspects had been watched by security since they arrived in Kuwait and were arrested “in due time.”
The report did not say when or how the smugglers entered Kuwait or when they were arrested. It also did not identify the European country where the banned weapons were allegedly headed.
The paper said the smugglers might have had accomplices inside Kuwait. It said Interior Minister Sheik Nawwaf Al Ahmed Al Sabah would hand over the smuggled weapons to an FBI agent at a news conference, but did not say when.
Kuwaiti government officials could not be reached for comment. Friday is an official holiday in Kuwait and government ministries are closed.