Australian Navy Seizes Weapons Haul From Fishing Boat


Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Darwin’s boarding team has seized a large weapons cache from a Somalia-bound fishing boat during their deployment to the Middle East Region as part of Operation MANITOU.


According to the reports, the boarding team intercepted the fishing vessel approximately 170 nautical miles (313 kilometres) off the coast of Oman to conduct a flag verification boarding.  The team found huge weapons cache onboard including:


  • 1989 AK-47 assault rifles
  • 100 rocket propelled grenade launchers
  • 49 PKM general purpose machine guns
  • 39 PKM spare barrels
  • 20 60mm mortar tubes


All the weapons were seized from the vessel 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”.


He added: “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.”


Operation MANITOU:

Operation MANITOU is the Australian Government’s contribution to the international effort to promote maritime security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East Region (MER).  An enhanced security environment ensures Australia’s safe and open access to the region while fostering trade and commerce.

Source: Royal Australian Navy


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