A massive arsenal of weapons seized by the Italian navy following a tip off from British secret agents has mysteriously â€˜gone missingâ€™, it emerged today.
The haul, which was described by one military expert as â€˜enough to start and win a small war,â€™ included 400 missiles, 30,000 AK47â€™s, 5,000 Katuscha rockets, 11,000 anti-tank rockets and 32million rounds.
All of the Russian-made weapons had been seized in 1994 by the Italian navy acting on intelligence from British intelligence who had been tracking the vessel they were on following undercover work by a spy.
The Italian navy intercepted the freighter Jadran Express as it sailed off the coast of Italy towards the Balkans which was then the scene of bitter fighting as the former Yugoslavia fell apart.
A spokesman at the Ministry of Defence in Rome said: â€˜Sorry, we cannot talk about that - there is an embargo of secrecy from the Prime Minister's office which forbids any information.â€™
One Italian military expert who asked not to be named said: â€˜With that amount of weaponry you could start and win a small war. It is very odd that they were kept despite an order for them to be destroyed.
â€˜The fact that an order of secrecy has been placed on the whole affair is also very intriguing - you have to wonder if the government has spirited these weapons out of the country.â€™
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