Morphine for training exercises? Sure!!!
(AFP) — Argentina and the United States are engaged in a diplomatic spat after Buenos Aires authorities seized what they say are undeclared weapons and drugs on a US military aircraft last week.
The Argentine government on Monday said it planned to lodge a formal protest with Washington, while the US State Department said it was “puzzled and disturbed” by the seizure of what it claimed was routine equipment for training the Argentine federal police.
Officials in Argentina said the US Air Force C-17 transport plane was searched and its cargo seized by customs officials on Thursday at Ezeiza International Airport after arriving with experts and material for a hostage rescue training exercise.
In a statement late Sunday, President Cristina Kirchner’s government said it would lodge a protest with Washington and ask it to cooperate in a probe into the air force’s attempt “to violate Argentine laws by bringing in hidden material in an official shipment.”
Argentina has said it seized “sensitive material” that had not been declared in a manifest submitted by the US embassy.
“Among the material seized, which the State Department makes no reference to, are from weapons to different drugs, including various doses of morphine,” the foreign ministry said in Sunday’s statement.
State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said “we are puzzled and disturbed by the actions of Argentine officials,” adding they conducted what he called “an unusual and unannounced search of the aircraft’s cargo.”