HMAS Darwin seizes huge weapons haul from Somalia-bound fishing boat

Weapons seized by HMAS Darwin from a small-arms smuggler boarded approximately 170 nautical miles off the coast of Oman. *** Local Caption *** HMAS Darwin  is conducting Maritime Security Operations under the authority of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 in the Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf during her deployment in the Middle East Region. HMAS Darwin is deployed on Operation MANITOU, Australia's contribution to the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF).  CMF undertakes patrols to combat piracy and to intercept the trafficking of drugs and weapons that help fund international terrorism. CMF also encourages regional cooperation to create a safer maritime environment. HMAS Darwin is on her 7th deployment to the Middle East Region and is the 62nd rotation of a RAN vessel in the region since the first Gulf War in 1991.

Australian sailors have seized a large weapons cache, including almost 2000 AK-47 assault rifles, from a fishing vessel in the Middle East.

HMAS Darwin’s boarding team intercepted the fishing vessel about 300 kilometres off the coast of Oman and found 1989 AK-47 assault rifles along with 100 rocket propelled grenade launchers, 49 machine guns, spare barrels and mortar tubes hidden under fishing nets in the dhow.
The weapons were seized under United Nations sanctions which authorise interdiction on the high seas of illicit weapons destined for Somalia.

The fishing boat was headed towards the Somalia coast.

Chief of Joint Operations Command, Vice Admiral David Johnston, said the seizure on Darwin’s first patrol was highly significant.

“One of the key reasons HMAS Darwin is deployed to the region is to contribute to global security and counter international terrorism,” Vice Admiral Johnston said.
The successful boarding and subsequent seizure of the weapons concealed under fishing nets highlights the need to remain vigilant in the region.”

HMAS Darwin is in the region as part of a multinational effort to prevent terrorism, piracy and drug smuggling, and to secure the maritime environment in the Middle East and the north east coast of Africa.

It is the ship’s seventh deployment to the area.

Weapons seized by HMAS Darwin from a small-arms smuggler boarded approximately 170 nautical miles off the coast of Oman.
Weapons seized by HMAS Darwin from a small-arms smuggler boarded approximately 170 nautical miles off the coast of Oman.

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This Sept. 27, 2015 photo released by the U.S. Navy on Sept. 30, 2015, shows weapons and equipment confiscated from a dhow, aboard the deck of USS Forrest Sherman. A ship carrying illicit arms believed to be from Iran was intercepted last week off the southern Arabian Peninsula by a member of a U.S.-backed naval coalition and was not registered with any country, the U.S. Navy said Wednesday. The American description of the ship’s seizure conflicted in some instances with an earlier account provided by a separate Saudi-led coalition battling Yemen’s Shiite rebels, which claimed it had foiled the smuggling attempt. (Combined Maritime Forces photo via AP)
This Sept. 27, 2015 photo released by the U.S. Navy on Sept. 30, 2015, shows weapons and equipment confiscated from a dhow, aboard the deck of USS Forrest Sherman. A ship carrying illicit arms believed to be from Iran was intercepted last week off the southern Arabian Peninsula by a member of a U.S.-backed naval coalition and was not registered with any country, the U.S. Navy said Wednesday. The American description of the ship’s seizure conflicted in some instances with an earlier account provided by a separate Saudi-led coalition battling Yemen’s Shiite rebels, which claimed it had foiled the smuggling attempt. (Combined Maritime Forces photo via AP)

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Source: Watoday

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