The US Navy’s guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) seized a massive shipment of illicit weapons from a stateless dhow in international waters in the North Arabian Sea last week.
USS Monterey and its embarked US 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 on 6/7 May.
The cache of weapons included dozens of 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 optical sights.
The original source and intended destination of the materiel is currently under investigation, the US Navy said, adding that the materiel is in US custody awaiting final disposition.
“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,” the US Navy said.