MONTEVIDEO -- A Uruguayan sailor has been arrested and charged with stealing arms from the warship he was assigned to and selling them to drug traffickers, officials said Sunday.
The 21-year-old sailor allegedly stole weapons from the warship ROU Vanguardia, which, among other missions, was responsible for resupplying Uruguay's base in Antarctica.
The sailor took advantage of his superiors' lack of supervision to steal four FAL rifles and two Browning 9 mm pistols.
A police wiretap targeting a gang of drug traffickers turned up evidence of the sailor's arms sales.
The sailor was paid $2,000 for each of the rifles and $220 for each pistol by the Uruguayan gang.
The Uruguayan drug traffickers then apparently turned around and sold the weapons to a powerful Brazilian drug gang.