The US Navy’s 5th Fleet launched a program to offer cash rewards of up to $100,000 for information leading to the detection of smuggled weapons and narcotics in the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea.
The US Naval Forces Central Command’s initiative to offer rewards for actionable intelligence in the Arabian Gulf and other strategic waterways could increase pressure on arms flows to the Houthi rebels as Yemen remains in a faltering ceasefire.
The 5th Fleet is also offering rewards as non-monetary items such as boats, vehicles, food, or equipment.
Citizens from the US are not eligible to receive rewards under the 5th Fleet’s initiative.
The Houthi rebels, also called the Houthis, have threatened a new allied task force which the 5th Fleet has organized in the Red Sea, although there have been no attacks by Iranian-backed forces against the Navy since then.
“Any destabilizing activity has our attention. Definitely, we have seen in the last year skyrocketing success in seizing both illegal narcotics and illicit weapons. This represents another step in our effort to enhance regional maritime security,” Cmdr. Timothy Hawkins of the 5th Fleet said.
The 5th Fleet said it recovered about $500 million in drugs alone and intercepted about 9,000 weapons in 2021.
The 5th Fleet’s initiative to give rewards for information was launched on Tuesday through the Department of Defense Rewards Program.
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