Wednesday, May 18, 2022

US detains smuggling ship, UK seizes drugs in Middle East waters

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates ( Associated Press) – The US Navy announced on Sunday that it has seized a boat carrying fertilizer used to make explosives in the Gulf of Oman that was used to smuggle weapons to Yemen last year. Was caught. The British Royal Navy said it had seized 1,041 kilograms (2,295 pounds) of illegal drugs in the same water.

The interventions in the volatile waters of the Persian Gulf were just the latest as US and British officials intensified the seizure of banned substances during the peace conflict in Yemen and the ongoing drug smuggling in the region.

The US Navy’s Middle East-based 5th Fleet said its guided missile destroyer USS Cole and patrol ships intercepted and discovered a stateless fishing dhow sailboat on a well-worn maritime weapons smuggling route to war-ravaged Yemen. Sailing from Iran. Tuesday. The US military found 40 tonnes of urea fertilizer, known as a key ingredient in homemade improvised explosive devices, hidden on board.

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Officials said the vessel was first seized off the coast of Somalia and found last year loaded with weapons, including thousands of assault rifles and rocket launchers, among other things. UN experts say weapons with such technical characteristics are likely to come from Iran to support the Houthi rebels. The Navy handed over the vessel, cargo and Yemeni crew to Yemen’s Coast Guard earlier this week.

Yemen is replete with small arms that have been smuggled into the country’s poorly controlled ports during years of conflict. Since 2015, the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have been battling a Saudi-led military coalition for control of the nation. Iran says it supports the rebels politically, but denies weapons to them despite evidence to the contrary.

The smuggled weapons have helped the Houthis gain an edge against the Saudi-led coalition in a seven-year war. Violence has escalated over the past week amid stalled international efforts to break the peace. Saudi warplanes struck in the northern rebel-held Saada province, following a deadly drone attack by rebels on Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.hitting a prison and killing more than 80 detainees.

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Officials also revealed on Sunday that a British Royal Navy ship had seized a large amount of illegal drugs, worth about $26 million, from a boat sailing through the Gulf of Oman on January 15.

HMS Montrose seized 663 kg (1,461 lb) of heroin, 87 kg (191 lb) of methamphetamine and 291 kg (641 lb) of hash and marijuana, the Joint Marine Task Force said in a statement.

The task force did not elaborate on where the drugs came from, who made them, or their final destination. But over the past decade Iran has seen an explosion in the use of methamphetamine, locally known as “sheesha” or “glass” in Persian, which has flowed into neighboring countries.

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Nation World News Desk
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