US and UK navies each seize smuggling boats in Middle Eastern waters
The United States and United Kingdom were in the same boat over the past few days, seizing ships in Middle Eastern waters.
The two countries said both their navies seized boats smuggling contraband in the Gulf of Oman. The U.S. Navy found 40 tons of fertilizer, often used to make explosives, aboard the boat it seized, while the British Royal Navy discovered 2,295 pounds of illegal drugs on the smuggler's boat it found, according to the Associated Press.
The U.S. Navy told the outlet it halted and searched a ship that was using a well-known maritime smuggling route to sail from Iran to Yemen on Jan. 18. Hidden on the ship were 40 tons of urea fertilizer, a key ingredient in homemade improvised explosives.
Yemen is a war-torn country, with airstrikes believed to have come from a coalition led by Saudi Arabia striking a prison in the country on Friday. At least 82 people were killed by the airstrikes, with another 138 injured.
The U.K also seized a ship, but this one was found with illegal drugs, including heroin, methamphetamine, hashish, and marijuana, the Royal Navy revealed in a press release. The press release stated the navy's team boarded the smuggling boat so quickly the crew had no time to hide their illegal cargo in a secret compartment.
“A seizure of this size will deal a huge blow to the criminal or terrorist gangs using these illegal narcotics to fund their activity,” said Commander Claire Thompson regarding the drugs. “Disrupting the terrorist organizations, criminals and their funding lines is key to keeping to U.K., and rest of the world, safe."
The U.S. Navy has not yet responded to the Washington Examiner's request for comment.