US Navy Interrupts Gun Smuggling Operation in Gulf of Aden

The U.S. Navy says it has interrupted a weapons smuggling operation in the Gulf of Aden, amid the ongoing war in Yemen.

A bag of AK-47 automatic rifles seized from a traditional sailing vessel are stowed onboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham in the Gulf of Aden, Aug. 28, 2018.

“The guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham, deployed to U.S. 5th Fleet, seized an illicit shipment of arms from a stateless skiff in the international waters of the Gulf of Aden,” the Navy said in a statement. The seizure happened Tuesday.

A U.S. military video, released early Friday, allegedly shows the small-ship smuggling operation.

The Navy statement said the Dunham located a dhow, a traditional ship type common in the Persian Gulf region, transferring “covered packages” to the skiff. The skiff was determined to be stateless following a flag verification boarding, conducted in accordance with international law, the Navy said.

The Dunham’s search and seizure team found a cache of more than 1,000 AK-47 automatic rifles aboard the skiff.

The Navy said it has not identified the source of the weapons, which are now in its custody.

The skiff’s engines were inoperable, according to the Navy. The vessel’s “distressed mariners” were brought aboard the Dunham and were later transferred to the Yemeni Coast Guard.

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