Kuwait Seizes Oil Tanker with 17 Iraqis on Board
Kuwait's coast guard Friday seized an oil tanker suspected of smuggling Iraqi oil and detained 17 Iraqi crewmen on board, the interior ministry said.
The Iraqi-registered vessel was seized for violating Kuwait's territorial waters and for busting the decade-long embargo on Baghdad, the ministry said.
The small tanker was carrying 280 tons of Iraqi oil, which was "intended for a foreign country," the ministry added, without naming the planned destination.
The seizure was made in coordination with international forces enforcing sanctions against Iraq, the statement said.
Kuwait has so far this year seized 18 vessels and small tankers of various sizes carrying oil and goods from Iraq to states in the Gulf. The seized ships and goods are normally sold at auction.
Crewmembers, mostly from the Indian subcontinent, are detained and fined before being deported to their home countries.
Baghdad has been under embargo since its August 1990 invasion of Kuwait and is authorized to export crude only under strict UN control to buy food, medicine and other essential goods.
The Kuwaiti ministry statement also said the coast guard seized a small boat at dawn on Friday carrying 27 Iranian infiltrators.
Last month, Kuwait and Tehran signed a memorandum of understanding to combat drug smuggling, terrorism and infiltrations -- KUWAIT CITY (AFP)
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