Manama, June 5 (IANS) Bahrain’s Interior Ministry on Saturday announced it foiled an attempt to smuggle eight fugitives convicted in terror cases via a boat heading to Iran.
The ministry said the trafficking attempt was foiled after the boat was spotted by the coastguard sailing off the coast of Northern Bahrain.
“The boat was chased and then interdicted when those onboard refused to stop,” said the ministry.
It released names and photographs of the fugitives who are jailed between 10 to 15 years in the Bahrain court in different cases, Xinhua news agency reported.
The ministry in a statement identified the two masterminds operating from Iran, who were wanted by Bahrain authorities.
It further said the boat captain is a resident of Bilad Al Qadeem and his assistant is resident of Juffair, were also arrested.
“The arrestees’ ID cards, money, mobile phones, personal belongings, a GPS and a large quantity of petrol were confiscated, ” stated the ministry on Saturday adding legal proceedings were taken.
In October last year Bahrain asked its ambassador in Tehran to leave immediately as it accused Iran of meddling in its domestic affairs and even expelled Tehran’s envoy in Manama.
Bahrain authorities in the past have seized weapons shipments which they claim were sent by Iran to create instability in the Gulf.
In November last year, a major counter terrorism operation was conducted by Bahrain’s security authorities in which it foiled a terrorist network and the arrest of 47 suspects.
The Interior Ministry said a range of high-grade explosives, bomb making materials and weapons were seized from several locations within populated residential areas in Bahrain.
In addition to the materials seized, a bomb-making facility and an explosives laboratory were discovered.
Bahrain investigators had then said that as with previous terrorist incidents in 2015 the suspects arrested hold strong connections with terrorist organisations in Iran.
Bahrain is a close US ally and hosts its Navy Fifth Fleet, which in this year alone has stopped three dhows in separate incidents that were loaded with large cache of weapons which it claimed were destined for Houthi rebels in Yemen originated from Tehran