An official said the nationality of the ship and its crew was not disclosed, but its cargo value amounted to $6.6 million.
Tehran, Iran – Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has detained the crew and cargo of a foreign ship carrying 11 million liters (2.9 million gallons) of smuggled fuel, according to an official. local justice.
The judicial director of the southern province of Hormozgan, Mojtaba Ghahremani, announced on Monday that IRGC naval forces had seized the unnamed vessel in Gulf waters.
“The captain and crew of this foreign tanker are also detained as investigations and legal proceedings are being completed,” he said in a video released by the semi-official Tasnim website, while the IRGC and judicial officers were on deck.
The nationality of the ship or its crew was not released, but Ghahremani said its cargo value amounted to 2.2 trillion rials (about $6.6 million).
Tasnim has also released a clip showing smuggled fuel on board the tanker.
“All ships that delivered fuel to the offending tanker will also be prosecuted,” the justice official said.
Mr. Ghahremani said that smugglers caught would be fined 10 times the value of the confiscated goods along with jail terms, while the vessel would be confiscated for the benefit of the Iranian government.
He also described the bankruptcy as a “severe blow” to organized fuel smuggling operations in Iran’s southern waters, which are believed to be lucrative given Iran’s allocation of fuel subsidies and currency. cheap in this country.
IRGC in recent years has increase its efforts anti-smuggling and, occasionally, notice the seizure of cargo carried by foreign ships while mostly not disclosing which country the ships and crews belong to.
But the amount of seized fuel announced on Monday appeared to be larger than usual. For comparison, another vessel was seized last month believed to be carrying 757,000 liters (200,000 gallons) of fuel.