US Navy seizes 'Russian and Chinese arms' in the North Arabian Sea

The Fifth Fleet, which is based in Bahrain, said the guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey intercepted the vessel and discovered the cargo during a routine boarding, in a two-day operation on May 6-7.

US Navy seizes 'Russian and Chinese arms' in the North Arabian Sea
Photo: US Navy

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.

The 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 original source and intended destination of the materiel is currently under investigation.

The materiel is in U.S. custody awaiting final disposition.

Assessment of the findings will be an interagency effort.

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.