Italy's Guardia di Finanza has thwarted a Libyan attempt to circumvent UN and other international arms embargoes.
The Guardia di Finanza, a customs police force, discovered at the port of La Spezia in northern Italy a container with four Ivchenko Progress AI-25 engines and an assortment of Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros spares.
Libya received 170 L-39s for advanced training and light attack roles. Around 130-150 are thought to remain in service although less than half are believed to be serviceable.
Investigators believe the engines were to receive major overhauls in Slovakia before being returned to Libya.
Libya is searching for spare parts as well as overhaul and maintenance services for many of its major weapon systems, with serviceability considered very low following years of arms embargoes.
In recent years some of these efforts involving several types of support and combat aircraft have been discovered and blocked in Europe.