After questioning, the crew was provided food and water before being released / Screenshot from @US5thFleet on Twitter

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.

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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.

Screenshot from @US5thFleet on Twitter

"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.

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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.

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