Large Weapons Cache Seized on Its Way to Somalia

Image Courtesy: Combined Maritime Forces

A large contraband of weapons was uncovered and seized following the boarding of a small fishing style vessel approximately 170 nautical miles off the coast of Oman by the Australian ship HMAS Darwin, deployed as a part of Combined Task Force (CTF150). The seized vessel was heading towards the Somalia coast. 

After conducting a flag verification boarding and assessing it to be stateless, HMAS Darwin searched the vessel and discovered 1989 AK-47 assault rifles, 100 rocket propelled grenade launchers, 49 PKM general purpose machine guns, 39 PKM spare barrels and 20 60 mm mortar tubes.

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

In 2015, the United Nations Security Council extended arms embargo imposed on Somalia until November 2016 and reaffirmed the country’s sovereignty over its natural resources. The fight against Somali pirates continues as all states are obliged to facilitate the prosecution of suspected pirates and to take measures to prevent the illicit financing of piracy.

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