The U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet has interdicted a stateless vessel with a cache of Russian- and Chinese-made weapons in the North Arabian Sea.
The U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet said on Twitter on May 9, 2021.
"Thousands of illicit weapons [were] interdicted by guided-missile cruiser @USSMonterey (CG 61) from a stateless dhow in international waters of the North Arabian Sea on May 6-7," it said.
The seized cache of weapons 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 Bahrain-based Fleet said in a statement.
"USS Monterey and its embarked U.S. Coast Guard Advanced Interdiction Team (AIT) discovered the illicit cargo during a routine flag verification boarding conducted in international water in accordance with customary international law," it said on Twitter.
The original source and intended destination of the materiel is under investigation.
USS Monterey provided more than 36 hours of over watch and security for its boarding teams and the interdicted vessel throughout the two-day operation.
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.
Thousands of illicit weapons interdicted by guided-missile cruiser @USSMonterey (CG 61) from a stateless dhow in international waters of the North Arabian Sea on May 6-7.— U.S. 5th Fleet (@US5thFleet) May 8, 2021
Cache of weapons included advanced Russian-made anti-tank guided missiles & Chinese Type 56 assault rifles. pic.twitter.com/07Fv92vbrV
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