The shipment of 781 shotguns seized in Italy's northern city of Trieste on Friday was in fact legal and was en route from Turkey to Belgium, Tanju Bilgiç, spokesman for Turkish Foreign Affairs Ministry, said Saturday.
Bilgiç said the importer Belgian company had breached shipment authorizations.
"Some news agencies reported that a Dutch-registered truck driven by a Turkish citizen had been shipping 800 unregistered pump-action shotguns from Turkey to Belgium and the Italian authorities seized the shotguns in Italy's Trieste port. However, the shipment in question was a legal export of 781 pump-action Winchester shotguns from Turkey to the Belgian importer," said Bilgiç.
Arriving in Trieste Port by sea, the truck was en route to Belgium over land and the Belgian importer company was supposed to have acquired authorization papers from the countries the vehicle would be crossing, Bilgic emphasized.
He went on to say that the company was missing authorization documents required by Italy.