Iran Claims to Seize Foreign-Flagged Oil Tanker On Suspicion of Fuel Smuggling

December 30: Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has seized an unspecified foreign tanker in the Gulf with alleged illegal oil on board, the country’s semi-official Fars news agency reported on Monday.

According to Fars, the ship had 1 million liters of illegal oil on board and was seized on Sunday south of Larak Island, near Abu Musa Island at the mouth of the strategic Strait of Hormuz. The ship’s crew members had been intending to transfer the oil to foreign tankers but this was prevented by¬†the Revolutionary Guard’s¬†intervention, the Fars report continued. All 12-16 [reports vary] crew members, who are UNCONFIRMED all Malaysian nationals, were also detained. The report did not specify what country’s flag the ship sailed under.

The nationality of the ship and its crew was not clear. It has been handed over to local judicial authorities.

Source: Haaretz & NY Times

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