An Indian Navy Saryu-class Offshore Patrol Vessel, INS Sunayna (P57) has seized illegal arms and ammunition from suspicious fishing vessel approximately 20 nm off the coast of Somalia in the Horn of Africa, on Dec. 13.
INS Sunayna, assigned to the Navy’s Southern Naval Command based at Kochi carried out a Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) operation on sighting a suspicious vessel, said Indian Ministry of Defence in a statement.
The successful operation resulted in seizure of illegal arms such as five rifles that included AK-47s and 471 rounds of ammunition. After confiscation of the arms and ammunition to prevent their illegal use by the crew for piracy related activities, the fishing vessel was allowed to proceed further.
INS Sunayna has been deployed for anti-piracy patrol in the Gulf of Aden since Oct. 16, 2018. The ship had earlier seized six AK-47s and one Light Machine Gun (LMG) in a previous search operation conducted on Nov. 9 and Dec. 7.
“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)”, added the MoD statement.
The international effort to combat piracy in the Gulf of Aden/ East Coast of Somalia region involves 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 (UNSCR) 2383 (2017) to board vessels suspected of illegal activities.