PANAMA CITY – Panama's judicial authorities have ordered the release of 32 of 35 crew members of a North Korean ship detained last July for carrying hidden arms from Cuba.
Prosecutor Nahaniel Murgas says the captain and two other crew members will remain to face arms trafficking charges
The Chong Chon Gang was carrying Cuban fighter jets and missiles. The owners agreed to pay a $670,000 fine this month to release the ship.
The crew was working with immigration authorities Thursday on the paperwork to leave.
The ship was headed from Cuba to North Korea when it was seized in the canal on July 15 based on intelligence that it may have been carrying drugs.
The Cuban military equipment was found beneath sacks of sugar.