Published June 26, 2015
There was no legal authorisation made to ship 250 submachine guns back to Norway by an Icelandair passenger plane, the Icelandic Transport Authority (ITA) says. They are asking for an explanation as to how this happened.
RÚV reports that the shipment – which arrived in Gardemoen Airport in Norway Wednesday morning – was effectively illegal. By law, transporting shipments of arms over and out of Icelandic airspace requires a special permit from the Icelandic Civil Aviation Administration.
However, upon investigating the apparent oddity of weapons shipped by passenger plane, the ITA says no such authorisation was sought, and they are seeking an explanation as to why this is and why the weapons were allowed to leave the country anyway.
RÚV contacted Icelandair on the matter, who told reporters they assumed the Icelandic Coast Guard – who originally possessed the guns and were sending them back to Norway – bore responsibility for getting permission to make the shipment and had done so. According to the legal language of the regulation, however, it is the flight company themselves who have to apply for the permit.
As reported, the guns were in holding with customs officials up until last Wednesday, despite the Coast Guard having announced last November that they would send the guns out of the country “at the first convenient opportunity”.
When asked why the guns were still here, customs officials told Vísir at the time that they were expecting a plane from Norway to come to Iceland to pick up the weapons in mid-May. No such plane has arrived, therefore “we are looking for another way to move the weapons out of the country”, they said at the time.