Jamaican authorities have seized 3,300 warheads and a missile-making machine at the port of Kingston and sought help from international police in tracking the shipper, Jamaican media reported Friday. The unauthorized arms shipment was discovered Thursday afternoon in a police and customs operation carried out at a berth of Kingston Wharves, the RJR News site reported.
A high-level investigation has been launched, and Jamaican police have asked for assistance from international law enforcement, the news service said.
It was unclear from any of the reports of the seized ordnance how large the warheads were, what type of launch device they were intended to arm or whether the shipment’s end destination was Jamaica or another country.
Jamaica has long been rife with gang violence and local drug wars, but arms intended for more wide-scale conflict haven’t previously been intercepted in the Caribbean country, Deputy Superintendent Steve Brown of the Jamaica Constabulary Force told the Gleaner newspaper.
“It’s the first we are seeing something like this,” Brown said.
Gun ranges in Jamaica have applied over the years for permits to make weapons and ammunition, but the government has always refused, Brown said, out of fear that the equipment could get into the wrong hands.
Authorities declined to disclose the origin of the shipment but identified a Jamaican from the town of Manchester whom they are seeking in the belief that he can assist in the probe, Brown said.