Iran Guards seize fuel-smuggling boat, arrest 11

AFP , Saturday 9 Apr 2022

Iran's Revolutionary Guards have seized a foreign boat smuggling fuel in the Gulf and arrested its 11 crew members, a senior justice official said Saturday.

 Iranian naval
File Photo: Iranian naval vessel flying an Iranian flag participates in a joint naval exercise of the Russian navy, the Iranian navy and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard s navy in the Indian Ocean, on Feb. 17, 2021. AP

"Naval forces have seized a foreign vessel carrying smuggled fuel in Arabian Gulf waters," said Mojtaba Ghahramani, justice chief for Iran's southern Hormozgan province, state television reported.

"Over 220,000 litres of smuggled fuel were seized and 11 foreign crew members were detained for investigation," Ghahramani said.

Ghahramani did not specify the date the boat was seized, nor the origin of the vessel or nationality of the crew.

The Guards also captured an "Iranian boat carrying 20,000 litres of smuggled diesel, intended to supply the foreign ship" and arrested three crew members, Ghahramani added, noting the seizure was made "in the territorial waters" of Iran.

The incident comes in the wake of a series of seizures of vessels in the sea lanes serving the Gulf, where a large portion of the world's oil is produced and shipped.

In November, Iran announced the arrest of a foreign boat carrying 150,000 litres of smuggled diesel and the arrest of 11 foreign crew members, without disclosing further details.

That seizure came days after Iran announced the release of the Vietnamese-flagged MV Sothys tanker, which they had seized in October.

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