Lufthansa denies Caracas rockets shipment claim
7 June 2005, FRANKFURT - German airline Lufthansa on Tuesday denied a claim by Venezuela that five rockets had been found at the airline's cargo depot in the Venezuelan capital Caracas, calling the incident a "misunderstanding".
7 June 2005
FRANKFURT - German airline Lufthansa on Tuesday denied a claim by Venezuela that five rockets had been found at the airline's cargo depot in the Venezuelan capital Caracas, calling the incident a "misunderstanding".
A company spokesman said officials in Venezuela had stopped a shipment of five pieces of cargo, each weighing 65 kilos, destined for Israel.
"Contrary to reports, this freight was neither rockets nor weapons," the spokesman stressed.
He declined to specify what the contents of the five packages were, and also did not identify who had despatched the items or the recipient, citing data protection regulations.
The spokesman said the five pieces of cargo had been declared as dangerous materials and had otherwise met all the required regulations, making them fit for air transport.
"We believe this is a misunderstanding," the Lufthansa spokesman said.
The depot in Caracas had been shut down by Venezuelan authorities and one Lufthansa Cargo employee detained.
The Lufthansa explanation came after Caracas officials had stated on Monday that five fighter-plane rockets apparently headed for Israel had been seized. They said the rockets, used on Mirage and F- 16 fighter planes, belong to the Colombian Armed Forces.
They were found on Saturday when one of the rockets was about to be put on a commercial flight to Israel at the Maiquetia airport, Venezuela's main airport near Caracas.
But a Lufthansa source speaking on condition of anonymity had said that the seized cargo were rocket parts and said that Lufthansa was "working closely" with authorities to clear the matter up.
Subject: German news