US Navy Seizes 1,400 AK-47s From 'Stateless Vessel' in North Arabian Sea

© US Navy/Petty Officer 3rd Class Elisha SmithIllicit weapons seized from a stateless fishing vessel in the North Arabian Sea are arranged for inventory aboard guided-missile destroyer USS O’Kane’s (DDG 77) flight deck, Dec. 21
Illicit weapons seized from a stateless fishing vessel in the North Arabian Sea are arranged for inventory aboard guided-missile destroyer USS O’Kane’s (DDG 77) flight deck, Dec. 21 - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.12.2021
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US Navy coastal patrol ships USS Tempest (PC 2) and USS Typhoon (PC 5) reportedly conducted the seizure on December 20, along a route of the North Arabian Sea that has been historically used to traffic weapons and munitions to Houthi militants in Yemen, according to the service.
The US Navy confirmed on Wednesday that, earlier this week, the 5th Fleet had seized some 1,400 AK-47 assault rifles and at least 226,000 rounds of ammunition from a stateless fishing vessel traveling in the North Arabian Sea.
The weapons and ammo were discovered by Navy forces amid a flag verification boarding "in accordance with customary international law in the North Arabian Sea."
The vessel's five-man crew were all identified as Yemeni nationals, and will be returned to their country of origin, according to US personnel. Although described as a "stateless vessel," the service noted in its Wednesday release that undisclosed findings suggested it had "originated in Iran."
"After removing the crew and illicit cargo, US naval forces determined the stateless vessel was a hazard to navigation for commercial shipping and sank it," the release detailed.
This comes several months after guided-missile destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) seized what are reported to be illicit shipments of weapons and weapons components from two stateless dhows off the coast of Somalia.
© US Navy/Petty Officer 3rd Class Louis Staats IVThe guided-missile destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81), in accordance with international law, boarded a stateless dhow off of Somalia and interdicted an illicit shipment of weapons and weapon components, Feb. 12. Maritime security operations, as conducted by the U.S. 5th Fleet, entail routine patrols to determine pattern of life in the maritime environment as well as to enhance mariner-to-mariner relations. These operations reassure allies and partners and preserve freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce.
The guided-missile destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81), in accordance with international law, boarded a stateless dhow off of Somalia and interdicted an illicit shipment of weapons and weapon components, Feb. 12. Maritime security operations, as conducted by the U.S. 5th Fleet, entail routine patrols to determine pattern of life in the maritime environment as well as to enhance mariner-to-mariner relations. These operations reassure allies and partners and preserve freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce. - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.12.2021
The guided-missile destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81), in accordance with international law, boarded a stateless dhow off of Somalia and interdicted an illicit shipment of weapons and weapon components, Feb. 12. Maritime security operations, as conducted by the U.S. 5th Fleet, entail routine patrols to determine pattern of life in the maritime environment as well as to enhance mariner-to-mariner relations. These operations reassure allies and partners and preserve freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce.
The seizure, conducted between February 11 and February 12, resulted in the confiscation of a cache of weapons, including thousands of AK-47-style assault rifles, light machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, and heavy sniper rifles.
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