US Navy offers big rewards for tip-offs about illicit cargo in Middle East

US Navy offers big rewards for tip-offs about illicit cargo in Middle East
To encourage individuals to come forward with tips about the movement of illicit cargo in the Middle East, the US Navy said on Tuesday they were offering big rewards, including a potential $100,000 payout, to any informants.
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Last year, more than $193 million in illegal drugs and weapons were seized by the US Navy and its commanding forces [source: Getty]

 The US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) said on Tuesday it will begin rewarding individuals for providing information that leads to the seizure of cargo such as illegal weapons or narcotics in the waters across the Middle East.

"NAVCENT is establishing a program for the first time to reward individuals who voluntary report information that meets specific criteria under the Department of Defense Rewards Program," the command said in a statement on its website on Tuesday.

“Launching this program represents another example of our commitment to this region and its security,” said Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of NAVCENT, US 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces. “This also enhances our vigilance and supports counterterrorism efforts, which are essential to safeguarding the free flow of commerce.”

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A potential reward could reach up to $100,000. Rewards can also be non-monetary, such as a boat, vehicles, food or equipment. 

Last year, US and international forces seized a record amount of illicit cargo, including illegal drugs and illicit weapons, in the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian sea.