Wednesday, April 06, 2016

U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence Worldwide Threat to Shipping (WTS) Report 1 - 30 March 2016 and Weapons Seizures at Sea

From the U.S. Navy's Office of Naval Intelligence :

While it is also in the WTS, it is worth noting this segment of the HORN OF AFRICA/GULF OF GUINEA/SOUTHEAST ASIA: Piracy Analysis and Warning Weekly (PAWW) Report for 24 - 30 March 2016:
1. (U) ARABIAN SEA: On 20 March, the French Navy destroyer FS
Photo source
PROVENCE seized a large weapons cache from a dhow in the northern Indian Ocean. The incident took place as the ship operated as part of the Combined Maritime Forces Combined Task Force 150 which conducts maritime security and counterterrorism operations. The dhow was spotted heading towards Somalia by PROVENCE's surveillance helicopter while it was undertaking routine surveillance in the northern Indian Ocean. Subsequently, personnel from PROVENCE boarded the dhow
A FREMM- Class Frigate similar to Provence
and ascertained that it was without nationality. PROVENCE

then undertook a search of the vessel, during which the weapons were found. The haul included 2,000- AK47 assault rifles, 49-PKM machine guns, along with mortars and anti-tank weapons. As the illicit weapons were deemed to be destined for Somalia, they were seized under the United Nations Security Council mandated arms embargo in accordance with UNSCR 2244 (2015)(www.meretmarine.com/fr;www.dt.bh)
An earlier report of a weapons seizure by HMAS Darwin:
Darwin's VBSS

HMAS Darwin intercepted the vessel approximately 170 nautical miles (313 kilometres) off the coast of Oman and initially conducted a flag verification boarding. After assessing the vessel to be stateless, HMAS Darwin searched the vessel and discovered 1989 AK-47 assault rifles, 100 rocket propelled grenade
HMAS Darwin
launchers, 49 PKM general purpose machine guns, 39 PKM spare barrels and 20 60mm mortar tubes. These weapons were seized from the vessel that was heading towards the Somalia coast.
Interesting, especially in light of this report of a U.S. Navy ship also capturing a dhow full of weapons as reported by the NYTimes:
The U.S. Navy says it has seized a weapons shipment in the Arabian
Sea from Iran likely heading to war-torn Yemen.

The Navy said in a statement Monday that the USS Sirocco on March 28 intercepted and seized the shipment of weapons hidden aboard a small dhow, a type of ship commonly used in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean.
USS Sirocco

The Navy said the shipment included 1,500 Kalashnikov assault rifles, 200 rocket-propelled grenade launchers and 21 .50-caliber machine guns. It said those aboard the dhow were released after sailors confiscated the arms.

A Saudi-led, U.S.-backed coalition is fighting in Yemen against Shiite rebels and their allies there. Officials have linked similar weapons seizures to Iran and the Shiite rebels, though the rebels deny receiving support from the Islamic Republic.(hat tip CDR Salamander)
Business must be good for arms dealers. Every seizure means another round of purchases.

1 comment:

  1. Flush with a fresh 150bil from Big Satan means allot to spread around.