A Xepolite Free Trader was a type of starship utilized by the Xepolites during the late 24th century for hauling freight. These ships were built especially for weapons smuggling, notably for the Cardassians, as they had hulls that were composed of a sensor-reflective material that prevented scanning and were capable of the maximum speed of warp 9.8.
The Mekong's presence was ignored until the runabout fired its phasers across the ship's bow. The ship's commander, Hetman Drofo Awa, denied the claim that his ship was hauling weapons, and claimed it was in fact hauling five kilotons of regreein wheat husks. Awa refused to let Sisko aboard for an inspection, noting that any attempt to board his vessel would be viewed as an act of piracy. Dukat then intervened and stated that if he did not lower his shields and allow Sisko aboard his ship, his ship would be destroyed. Awa complied and following the inspection, he followed the runabout back to Deep Space 9, where he was to offload his cargo and sign a confession of his actions. (DS9: "The Maquis, Part II")