KOCHI: An Indian Naval Ship Sunayana intercepted a suspicious fishing vessel and seized illegal arms and ammunition from the crew, off Somalian coast on Thursday. Deployed for anti-piracy patrol in the Gulf of Aden since october 6, 2018, INS Sunayna had earlier seized six AK-47s and one Light Machine Gun in previous search operations conducted on November 9 and December 07. Piracy off the coast of Somalia has doubled in 2017 and it remains a concern for ships passing the Horn of Africa.
On Thursday, Sunayna, an Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) of the Southern Naval Command, sighted a suspicious fishing vessel approximately 20 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia in the Horn of Africa. The officers on board the ship intercepted the vessel and seized illegal arms such as five rifles that included AK-47 and 471 rounds of ammunition. After confiscation of the arms and ammunition, the fishing vessel was allowed to proceed.
The vigilance exercised by the Indian Navy ships reiterates the commitment of India towards ensuring safe seas for Indian as well as international seafarers in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), the Navy said in a statement.
The international effort to combat piracy in the Gulf of Aden/ East Coast of Somalia region involves the participation of many countries such as India, China, Japan, United States, Russia, Pakistan and the European Union Nations. Warships operating in this region for combating piracy are authorised by the United Nations Security Council Resolution to board vessels suspected of illegal activities.
Indian Navy officers conducting a search and seizure operation on board a suspicious fishing vessel off Somalian coast on Thursday. Rifles and ammunition seized by Indian navy from a fishing vessel off Somalian coast on Thursday