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Businessman arrested with Scud missile parts

The federal authorities have arrested a Taiwanese businessman with Scud missile parts in his luggage. The man was detained at Zurich airport last week on his way to Libya.

This content was published on April 12, 2000 - 16:41

The federal authorities have arrested a Taiwanese businessman with Scud missile components in his luggage. He is suspected of trying to deliver mechanical parts for the Russian-made rocket to Libya.

The Federal Prosecutors Office said the man was detained at Zurich airport last Thursday in transit to Libya. He was apparently travelling from Taiwan, via Hong Kong and Zurich, to the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

The authorities said they acted on a tip-off when they stopped the 44-year old businessman, whose identity has not been revealed. Police confiscated the missile parts, said to be drive units for rockets.

The businessman was put into custody while the federal authorities opened an investigation into suspected violations of weapons laws.

Scud missiles are rockets developed by Russia and have been exported and assembled in several other countries, including Libya. They can be equipped with conventional, nuclear or chemical warheads.

Western media reports have said Libya may be receiving North Korean help to upgrade its Scuds. In January, Britian announced it had seized an illegal shipment of missile components destined for Libya. That shipment reportedly also originated in Taiwan.

swissinfo and agencies

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