Iran suspected of supplying terrorists after fishing boat is captured with over 2000 weapons

A massive arms cache found by the Australian Navy on an unmarked fishing boat. Photo credit: Sarah Ebsworth

A massive arms cache was seized from a stateless fishing vessel after the ship was intercepted by the Royal Australian Navy.

According to CNN, the guided-missile frigate HMAS Darwin was conducting its seventh deployment about 170 nautical miles off the coast of Oman when they came across the vessel.

When the ship was boarded, Australian sailors found a trove of over 2,000 weapons, including 1,989 AK-type weapons, 49 PKM machine guns and around 100 rocket-propelled grenades.

The Darwin has been conducting exercises as part of a multinational naval alliance known as the Combined Maritime Forces, which is responsible for policing over three million square miles of international waters and trade routes.

Photo credit: Sarah Ebsworth
Photo credit: Sarah Ebsworth

CMF vessels often conduct “flag verification” boardings in order to determine the origin of unmarked vessels.

Upon boarding the vessel, the Australian Navy reports the ship was crewed by 18 people of various nationalities, though it cannot be confirmed if their identification was real or not. Once the weapons were taken, the Australian Navy let the crew go, in accordance with international maritime law.

Photo credit: Sarah Ebsworth
Photo credit: Sarah Ebsworth

The Darwin was conducting its first patrol in the area  when it came across the fishing boat, Vice Admiral David Johnston of the Australian Navy said.

“Darwin’s successful boarding and subsequent seizure of the weapons concealed under fishing nets highlights the need to remain vigilant in the region,” Johnston remarked.

Lt. Ian McConnaghey with the US Navy says that the weapons were originally thought to be Iranian in origin, headed to rebels in Yemen. However, US Central Command is still compiling intel to determine the true destination of the weapons.

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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