WORLD Iran captures foreign vessel smuggling oil in the Gulf

WORLD

Iran captures foreign vessel smuggling oil in the Gulf

CGTN

01:43, August 05, 2019

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Stena Impero is seized and detained near the Strait of Hormuz, Iran, July 22, 2019. (Photo: VCG) 

"The ship was transferred to Bushehr and its smuggled fuel was handed over" to the authorities in coordination with judicial authorities, it added.

Fars quoted Brigadier General Ramezan Zirahi, commander of the Guards who carried out the seizure, as saying the vessel had been en route to deliver fuel to Gulf Arab states.

Tensions have spiked between Iran and the West after Iranian commandos seized a British-flagged tanker, which came after British forces captured an Iranian oil tanker near Gibraltar, accused of violating sanctions on Syria.

The Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has captured a foreign tanker smuggling oil in the waters of the Farsi island in the Gulf, Iran's state TV reported on Sunday.
The vessel was reportedly smuggling fuel for some Arab countries.

According to Fars news agency, seven foreign crew members were arrested during the operation on Wednesday.

The Guards' "naval forces have seized a foreign vessel carrying 700,000 liters of smuggled fuel around Farsi island," IRNA reported, quoting a statement from the Guards. The Revolutionary Guards boats were patrolling the Gulf to control traffic and detect illicit trade, it said, without identifying the seized vessel.

The seizure of the latest vessel is the third by Iran in less than a month in Gulf waters, a conduit for much of the world's crude oil.

On July 18, the Guards said they detained the Panama-flagged MT Riah for alleged fuel smuggling. And a day later, they announced they had impounded British-flagged tanker Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz for breaking "international maritime rules".

The seizure of the Stena Impero came two weeks after British authorities detained an Iranian tanker off its overseas territory Gibraltar on allegations it was breaching EU sanctions on Syria. Iran vowed to retaliate.

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