Iran Guards seize ship smuggling fuel in Gulf: state media

AFP , Sunday 24 Apr 2022

Iran's Revolutionary Guards seized a foreign vessel smuggling fuel in the Gulf and arrested its crew members, state media said Sunday, in the third such incident reported this month.

Iranian naval
An 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, Feb. 17, 2021. AP


The Guards "seized a foreign vessel carrying 200,000 litres (around 53,000 gallons) of smuggled fuel in the north of the Arabian Gulf and directed it to Bushehr (port)", state broadcaster IRIB said, quoting a statement by the Guards' Navy.

"Eight crew members of the vessel, who are foreigners, were arrested and taken to Bushehr port, where they will be handed over to the judicial authorities to complete the investigation and legal processes," it added.

The crewmen's nationalities were not specified.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is the ideological arm of Iran's military.

The incident is the latest in a series of seizures of fuel-smuggling vessels in sea lanes of the Gulf, where a large portion of the world's oil is produced and shipped.

On April 15, Iranian media reported the seizure of a boat carrying 250,000 litres of smuggled fuel and the arrest of its seven-member crew.

Another boat with 11 crew onboard was seized, in a report on April 9.

"The fight against smuggling, especially fuel smuggling, is one of the main priorities of the IRGC Navy in order to support national production and the dynamism of the country's economy," the statement said.

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