The European Union mission to enforce the United Nations (UN) arms embargo on Libya announced for the first time on 20 July that it had found proscribed equipment on a ship that it had searched.
Operation ‘Irini’ said a French naval aircraft spotted the vehicle carrier Victory Roro after it transited the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean. The ship was monitored by the Greek frigate Themistoklis before the Italian frigate Grecale took over to conduct a search on 18 July.
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The Victory Roro inspection was the 24th executed by the European Union (EU) naval task force deployed under Operation Irini.
Victory Roro, flying the Equatorial Guinea flag and under her previous name, was identified by a UN panel of experts on Libya as delivering military vehicles to the north African country in March.
“During the inspection, the team identified dozens of vehicles designed or modified for military use and thus assessed to be in violation of the UN arms embargo on Libya,” it said. “Operation ‘Irini‘ seized the vehicles violating the UN arms embargo on Libya and is now diverting the ship to a European port for further proceedings.”
It said that the UN Panel of Experts on Libya said the same vessel operating under the name Luccello delivered military vehicles to Libya in March 2022.
The inspection, conducted by Italian Navy frigate ITS Grecale (F571), of the cargo vessel MV Victory Roro (previously MV Luccello) after she was located by a French maritime patrol aircraft, brought to light “dozens of vehicles designed or modified for military use and assessed to be in violation of the UN arms embargo on Libya” according to an Operation Irini communique. In accordance with a UN Security Council resolution and its mandate, Operation Irini seized the vehicles violating the arms embargo and diverted the ship to a European port for further proceedings.