CMA CGM said a containership stormed by Israeli commandos on March 15 and searched for weapons was the "victim" of a false cargo declaration.
The Victoria, with 1,678 20-foot equivalent units capacity, was due Wednesday to leave the port of Ashdod after being released by the Israeli Navy, which removed three containers from the French ocean carrier's chartered vessel.
The containers contained advanced weaponry and missiles destined for Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, according to Israeli media reports.
CMA CGM said the manifest showed the shipper of the containers declared the cargo to be "lentils."
"CMA CGM does not tolerate the false declaration of goods which could undermine the group's image and reputation," the Marseille-based carrier said in a statement.
"It is important to know that when a person or business wishes to send cargo via a container, the shipping company provides the container and the shipper loads it with their cargo and seals it and, by this act, the shipper is therefore responsible for the cargo declared on the Bill of Lading."
CMA CGM said it will continue "to collaborate closely with the national and international security services to actively fight against any transport of illegal cargoes."
The Victoria, which is owned by German shipowner Peter Dohle, was sailing from the Turkish port of Mersin to Alexandria, Egypt, when it was boarded 200 miles off the coast of Israel.
The 2004-built vessel is reported to have begun its voyage at the Syrian port of Latakia.
-- Contact Bruce Barnard at firstname.lastname@example.org.