(CBS NEWS) -- Panama's president says on his Twitter account that authorities have seized a North Korean-flagged ship traveling from Cuba with "undeclared military cargo."
President Ricardo Martinelli offered no details but posted a photo of what appeared to be a green tubular object sitting inside a cargo container or the ship's hold.
Panamanian officials verified the tweet was authentic but did not immediately respond to requests for further details.
French news service Agence France-Press (AFP) quotes Martinelli as saying on Radio Panama on Monday that the ship was trying to sneak suspected sophisticated missile material through the Panama Canal.
"The world needs to sit up and take note: You cannot go around shipping undeclared weapons of war through the Panama Canal," AFP quotes Martinelli as saying, adding that the ship had been inspected to rule out drugs and was found to have other cargo of greater concern.
"We had suspected this ship, which was coming from Cuba and headed to North Korea, might have drugs aboard, so it was brought into port for search and inspection" on Panama's Atlantic coast, Martinelli said, according to AFP. "When we started to unload the shipment of sugar, we located containers that we believe to be sophisticated missile equipment, and that is not allowed."
AFP says Martinelli then told of a dramatic scene in which he said the ship's captain tried to kill himself and the crew rioted when police came on board. "So we are holding this vessel for further investigation," Martinelli is quoted as saying. Continue reading via CBS News...