U.S. Fifth Fleet’s guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey has seized an illicit shipment of weapons from a stateless dhow in the international water of the North Arabian Sea.
The U.S. Navy conducts routine patrols in the region of the North Arabian Sea. The 5th Fleet ensures the free flow of commerce for legitimate traffic, disrupts the transport of illicit cargo, and safeguards the rules-based international order.
USS Monterey discovered the illicit cargo during a routine flag verification boarding conducted in international water in accordance with customary international law.
The operation took place on 6 and 7 May 2021.
The cargo included dozens of advanced Russian-made anti-tank guided missiles, thousands of Chinese Type 56 assault rifles, and hundreds of PKM machine guns, sniper rifles and rocket-propelled grenades launchers. Other weapon components included advanced optical sights.
The source and the intended destination of the weapons is currently being investigated.
The weapons are in U.S. custody awaiting final disposition.
After all illicit cargo was removed, the dhow was assessed for seaworthiness, and after questioning, its crew was provided food and water before being released, the U.S. Navy reports.