US Navy to reward tips on illicit weapons or narcotics cargos in Middle East waters

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The US Navy will for the first time reward individuals for providing information that leads to the seizure of illicit cargos such as illegal weapons or narcotics in waters across the Middle East, it said on Tuesday.

The US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT), which is headquartered in Bahrain and covers strategic waterways such theSuez Canal and Strait of Hormuz, said the rewards could be in cash or items such as boats.

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“NAVCENT could potentially reward a maximum $100,000 payout for information or non-lethal assistance that supports counterterrorism operations or leads US naval forces to successfully seize illicit cargo such as illegal weapons or narcotics,” it said in a statement on its website.

“Rewards can also be non-monetary and include items like boats, vehicles, food, or equipment,” it said.

The statement gave a phone number in Bahrain where tips can be reported, in addition to the website dedicated to the US Department of Defense’s rewards program.

The statement did not mention a specific country as being a target of the reward program, but its implementation could complicate the shipments of Iranian weapons to Tehran’s allies
in Yemen, Syria, and Lebanon.

Read more: US seized Iran oil cargo as Biden considers easing sanctions

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