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Big Pistol Haul After Sea Chase

Date Posted: 2000-09-22

The 11th Maritime Safety Agency officers seized 86 handguns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition from a yacht off Ishigaki Island, Friday. They also arrested two men on board. According to investigators, the men had left on the yacht from Ishigaki in August and announced they were heading for Naha. Instead, they soon turned south and sailed to the Philippines where they obtained the guns.

Tipped off by informants in the Philippines, the 11th MSA officials had their patrol boats on alert for the return of the yacht. When officers approached the yacht the two men boarded an inflatable dinghy in order to try to escape. The patrol boat soon caught the dinghy in which the officers found the guns and arrested the two men.

The two men, one Kyoto native, another from Ishigaki, were indicated by the Naha District Prosecutorsí Office, Sunday. Investigators are now trying to determine whether the men have links to organized crime syndicates.

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