Egypt arrested a German and an Austrian citizen in possession of four sniper rifles as they brought them through Cairo International Airport (CAI) on Thursday, following their arrival on board a flight coming from Munich, according to offical reports.
Assistant Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar of the National Security Agency (NSA) referred the two men to the prosecution for questioning.
Prior to the arrest, the NAS claims to have received reports that firearms had been purchased from abroad with the purpose of smuggling them into the country through the airport. Based on this information, say official sources, the two men were arrested with the help of Egyptian customs officers.
Upon searching their luggage, four disassembled sniper rifles, 200 bullets, and a satellite phone were found, according to officals.
When questioned, the Austrian stated that he was the chairman of a company based in Austria concerned with search-and-rescue operations, and in securing merchant ships. The Austrian went on to say that he and his German colleague flew from Austria to Cairo, via Munich, aiming to catch up with a petroleum tanker on its way to Suez from Italy.
The Austrian claimed that he had notified Vienna Airlines of the weapons. He added that he had been to the Egyptian Embassy in Vienna and informed them that he works in the field of ship security, and that he has a mission in the Gulf of Suez.
He went on to say that he had presented all the necessary paperwork concerning the weapons and that the embassy sent a letter to the Egyptian Customs Department granting permission for his company and others to enter the country.
Translated from the Arabic Edition