(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Jordan Customs Department (JCD) personnel on Saturday seized a large shipment of weapons destined for Iraq that were found in a container in Aqaba, senior official sources said.
The container's contents were listed as household appliances, clothes and children's toys, but department personnel were suspicious of the container and decided to inspect it, JCD Director Maj. Gen. Ghaleb Sarayreh told The Jordan Times.
"When we opened the container agents found a total of 14,218 items that included light weapons, binoculars, police batons, knives, army compasses, rifle binoculars, laser guns and other military weapons and equipment," he said.
The JCD director said this was the largest shipment of weapons the department had seized recently and the third destined for Iraq from an Asian country.
"We seized a fourth shipment coming from an Asian country in February that was destined for Jordan," he added.
The official said that the movement of goods through Aqaba has increased over the past year because of the turbulence in Syria.
Sarayreh noted that around 800 containers and 2,800 other shipments go through the Aqaba Port each day, with final destinations both inside and outside the Kingdom.
"We plan to intensify our inspection procedures and at the same time we will make sure that it will not affect trade movement," he stressed.
Sarayreh added that customs agents are keeping a close eye on all border crossings to prevent any smuggling and are using the latest technology to detect contraband.
"We have received highly advanced equipment from the American government and it is helping us tremendously in our fight against illegal smuggling operations on our borders," he added.
A second JCD official said an investigation is ongoing into whether Jordanian clearance companies are involved in smuggling operations.
If so, the official added, they will be referred to the State Security Court prosecution for questioning.