Posted on September 10, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
Iran seized a vessel transiting through the Strait of Hormuz on Saturday the 7th of September, over its alleged involvement in oil-trafficking.
According to the Iranian state media, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) seized the vessel and arrested its crew of 12 Filipino crewmen, due to the ship’s involvement in a suspected fuel-smuggling ring.
Iranian television aired footage of the vessel, reportedly a tugboat, docked at Bandar Abbas Port, with a number of Iranian armed guards on board.
According to Major Hossein Dehaki, the Coast Guard Chief in the southern province of Hormozgan, the vessel was suspected of being part of a fuel-smuggling ring. IT was intercepted close to Sirik county in the Strait of Hormuz and its cargo has been confiscated by the authorities.
Not many details have been released at this point, but reportedly. The vessel was carrying approximately 284,000 litres of diesel at the time of the seizure.
The Philippine Government has been monitoring the condition of the 12 arrested seafarers, and the Philippine Ambassador to Iran, Wilfredo Santos is in close contact with the authorities in order to determine their status.
Some reports suggest that the vessel in question is the Tanzania-flagged offshore supply tug, AL BURAQ 1, but there is little corroborating evidence to suggest this at this point.