French Navy frigate FS Provence intercepted the unregistered boat in the north area of the Indian Ocean, which was bound for Somalia.

The weapons smugglers were spotted heading toward Somalia by Provence’s Caïman helicopter whilst it was undertaking routine surveillance in the Northern Indian Ocean. They immediately contacted the the French Navy who approached and boarded the vessel and determined that it was not registered in any country. The ship’s team then searched the dhow and discovered the weapons. Among the seized arms were machine guns, AK47 rifles and anti-tank weapons.

As the illicit weapons were deemed to be destined for Somalia, they were seized under the United Nations Security Council mandated arms embargo. The Commanding Officer of Provence commented: “This success remains a collective one, showing the value of like-minded nations committing ships and aircraft for the common good.”

This haul highlights to us that the black market is still operating in the Somalia region and due to the type of weapons being brought in to the country, this shipment was highly likely destined to further strengthen pirates operating in that part of the world. With these reoccurring seizures it is evident that pirates continue to build their arms capabilities and that security is still absolutely vital for ships and crew alike transiting the Indian Ocean.