Kochi, December 14, 2018-(PIB);-On 13 Dec 18, Indian Naval Ship Sunayna, an Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) of the Southern Naval Command based at Kochi, while being mission deployed, carried out a Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) operation on sighting a suspicious fishing vessel approximately 20 nm off the coast of Somalia in the Horn of Africa. The successful operation resulted in seizure of illegal arms such as five rifles that included AK-47 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 06 Oct 18. The ship had earlier seized six AK-47s and one Light Machine Gun in a previous search operation conducted on 09 Nov and 07 Dec 18. The vigilance exercised by the Indian Navy (IN) ships reiterates the commitment of India towards ensuring safe seas for Indian as well as international seafarers in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
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.