A French missile earlier owned by Qatar’s military and located among a massive armory of weapons confiscated in Italy was sold by Qatar 25 years ago to a third nation.
Italian police said on Monday that a French-made Matra air-to-air missile relating to Qatar’s armed forces was found throughout raids on neo-Nazi supporters.
In a statement, Qatar said the missile was part of a more significant weapons sale made to a 3rd “friendly” nation 25 years ago, although it didn’t name the third nation.
“The authorities in Qatar have instantly begun an investigation alongside the respective Italian authorities and the authorities of one other friendly nation to which the Matra missile was sold 25 years ago,” foreign ministry spokesperson Lolwah Alkhater stated in a press release.
“Qatar offered the captured Matra Super530 missile in the year 1994 in a contract that included 40 Matra Super 530 missiles to a friendly country that wishes not to be named at this point of the investigation,” mentioned Alkhater.
Italian police said the suspects had tried to sell the missile in talks with connections on the WhatsApp messaging network. Subsequent checks confirmed the weapon was in the working situation; however, lacked an explosive charge.
Elite police authorities searched properties throughout northern Italy following a probe into Italians who had fought in eastern Ukraine in the battle between the Kiev authorities’ forces and Russian-supported separatists.
Among several weapons found in the raids had been 26 weapons, 20 bayonets, 306 gun elements, including silencers and rifle scopes, and over 800 bullets of many calibers. The arms were primarily from Austria, Germany and the US.