HMAS Darwin seizes large weapons cache

HMAS Darwin’s boarding team has uncovered and seized a large weapons cache, following a boarding of a fishing vessel during their deployment to the Middle East Region as part of Operation MANITOU.

Operating under Combined Task Force 150, responsible for counter-terrorism operations within the Middle East Region, Darwin intercepted the fishing vessel approximately 170 nautical miles (313 kilometres) off the coast of Oman to conduct a flag verification boarding.

1 viewee_twoee_ak47s After assessing the vessel to be stateless, 1989 AK-47 assault rifles, 100 rocket propelled grenade launchers, 49 PKM general purpose machine guns, 39 PKM spare barrels and 20 60mm mortar tubes were seized from the vessel that was headed towards the Somalia coast.

The weapons were seized under United Nations sanctions which authorise interdiction on the high seas of illicit weapons destined for Somalia.

Vice Admiral David Johnston, Chief of Joint Operations Command, said the seizure on Darwin’s first patrol of such a large haul of illicit weapons is highly significant.

“Australia worked as part of the multinational Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) to discover and seize these illegal weapons.

“One of the key reasons HMAS Darwin is deployed to the region is to contribute to global security and counter international terrorism,” VADM Johnston said.

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

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.

Darwin is deployed as part of the CMF and is assigned to the Australian led Combined Task Force 150.

CMF is a multinational effort to prevent terrorism, piracy and drug smuggling, encourage regional cooperation and promote a secure maritime environment in the Middle East and off the north east coast of Africa.

This is Darwin’s 7th deployment to the MER and the 62nd rotation of a RAN vessel in the region since 1990.









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Posted by Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

4 thoughts on “HMAS Darwin seizes large weapons cache

  • 21/03/2016 at 1:10 pm

    “After assessing the vessel to be stateless”

    This is different to the article in The Australian – 11MAR16

    The vessel departed from Iran and had an Iranian crew ??

    • 21/03/2016 at 1:16 pm

      Hi mate.
      So the next question is, which report do you believe?
      The one from The Australian (commercial newspaper with no reporters in the Middle East) or the ADF press release (written by ADF spin doctors and/or propagandists)?
      Bear in mind too that The Australian most likely got its info from the ADF press release.
      Brian Hartigan
      Managing Editor

  • 21/03/2016 at 11:43 am

    Great work! Good to see a few less weapons reaching the b******s’

    • 21/03/2016 at 12:10 pm

      Amen to that mate.


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