IRGC Navy seizes vessels with 4.5 mln liters of smuggled fuel in Persian Gulf, arrests crew
The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy has confiscated two tanker ships carrying millions of liters of smuggled fuel in the Persian Gulf waters, and arrested the entire crew members.
As part of their efforts to combat organized fuel smuggling in the Persian Gulf waters, Iranian media reported, forces from the IRGC’s Fifth Naval Zone conducted a three-day surveillance operation and seized the two vessels during a rapid reaction operation in the southern waters of Bu Musa Island.
They were estimated to be carrying approximately 4.5 million liters of fuel.
The commander of the IRGC’s Fifth Naval Zone, Rear Admiral Ali Ozmaei, noted that one of the vessels was loaded with 2.28 million liters of smuggled fuel, and was apprehended in the southern waters of the Bu Musa Island with a crew of 13 foreign nationals aboard.
Another tanker ship was laden with nearly 2.3 million liters of smuggled fuel, and manned by 21 foreign crew members. It was also seized by IRGC naval forces in the same region.
Back on September 15, the IRGC seized two foreign-flagged oil tankers as they were smuggling more than 1.5 million liters of fuel in the Persian Gulf.
Rear Admiral Mohammad Sharif Shirali, Deputy Commander of the IRGC Navy's third Naval Zone, said at the time that the tankers with Panama and Tanzania flags were held by the IRGC Navy.
The official said the IRGC naval forces had for the past two days closely monitored the two foreign oil tankers, and eventually seized them on judicial orders.
He said the 37-member crew aboard the two vessels were handed to judicial authorities for necessary legal procedures.