Thousands of illicit weapons interdicted by the guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) from a stateless dhow in international waters of the North Arabian Sea, May 8, 2021. (Photo: U.S. Navy)

Thousands of illicit weapons interdicted by the guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) from a stateless dhow in international waters of the North Arabian Sea, May 8, 2021. (Photo: U.S. Navy)

The U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet said its guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) seized an illicit shipment of weapons from a stateless dhow in international waters of the North Arabian Sea on May 6-7.

USS Monterey and its embarked U.S. Coast Guard Advanced Interdiction Team (AIT) discovered the illicit cargo during a routine flag verification boarding. The vessel was apparently sailing from Iran bound for Yemen to support the country’s Houthi rebels.

“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 Navy said, adding that the weapons are in U.S. custody awaiting final disposition.

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 Navy said.

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