A US Navy vessel has seized an illicit shipment of weapons from a stateless dhow in international water of the North Arabian Sea. The shipment of Russian and Chinese made weaponry was seized by the US guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey on May 6-7, 2021. The USS Monterey used the US Coast Guard Advanced Interdiction Team (AIT) to board the dhow.
The illicit cargo was found during a routine flag verification check.
The check by the US Navy was conducted in international water in accordance with customary international law.
Senior researcher at the Small Arms Survey Matt Schroeder tweeted: “Massive arms shipment seized by the US military in the North Arabian sea.
“The weapons, which were found on a stateless dhow, include dozens of ATGMs, 100s of PKM-pattern MG, sniper rifles, and RPG-7 pattern launchers, and 1000s of Chinese Type 56 rifles.”
The illicit cargo of weaponry 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 weapons onboard the dhow included advanced optical sights for military use.
A tweet from the US 5th Fleet said: “Thousands of illicit weapons interdicted by guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) from a stateless dhow in international waters.
“The dhow was found in the North Arabian Sea on May 6-7.
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The crew of the dhow as it sat stationary in international waters were provided food and water before being released.
The US Navy patrols international waters to ensure the free flow of commerce for legitimate traffic on global maritime trade routes.
The patrols by the US Navy are aiming to stop the transport of illicit cargo on sea routes.
The US Navy has stimulated that it strives to safeguard the rules-based international order.