US Navy intercept flagless fishing vessel carrying 40 tons of explosive material

A US Navy vessel stopped a fishing boat on Sunday – and found that it was carrying 40 tonnes of explosive material.

The boat was stopped in the Gulf of Oman by the US 5th Fleet.

And it’s the second time that the same boat has been found to be smuggling weapons or material to make weapons in that area.

USS Cole (DDG 67) and patrol coastal ship USS Chinook (PC 9) found the boat travelling from Iran in international waters.

The route is normally associated with weapons smugglers, taking them to Houthis in Yemen.

This latest discovery found 40 tonnes of urea fertilizer, which can be used to make explosive devices.

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The boat, cargo, and five Yemeni crew members were handed over to the Yemen Coast Guard after it was found.

The boat was seized by the US Navy

In February 2021, the same boat was found to be smuggling weapons near Somalia.

The stash included a plethora of AK-47 rifles, light machine guns, heavy sniper rifles, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, and several crew-served weapons.

Of the latest incident, a spokesman for the fleet said: “US naval forces regularly perform maritime security operations in the Middle East to ensure the free flow of legitimate trade and to disrupt the transport of illicit cargo that often funds terrorism and other unlawful activity.”

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Also found in the Gulf of Oman was a ship carrying around one tonne of illegal drugs.

Urea fertilizer can be used on farms, but is also used to make bombs
Urea fertilizer can be used on farms, but is also used to make bombs

And it was found by the Royal Navy over the weekend.

The operation lasted around 10 hours and included a team from the Royal Marines from the HMS Montrose.

The drug haul included 663kg of heroin, 87kg of methamphetamine, and 291kg of hashish and marijuana.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “As a result of this successful bust, our streets are safer and (we) have choked off a huge source of finance to international organised crime groups.”

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There were no details given about the boat or where it came from.

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