Report: Iraqi Oil Tanker Seized by Kuwait
Kuwait's coast guard has seized an Iraqi oil tanker suspected of violating the UN embargo slapped on Iraq for its 1990 invasion of the emirate, a newspaper reported Saturday.
The Kuwaiti daily Al Rai Al Aam was quoted by AFP as saying that the Iraqi vessel was smuggling 1,200 tons of oil when it was seized in Kuwait's territorial waters on Friday.
The tanker's crew were arrested and the vessel towed to Kuwait's Shuaiba port, south of Kuwait City, the newspaper added.
Kuwait last year seized more than 20 vessels and small tankers of various sizes carrying oil and goods from Iraq to the Gulf Arab monarchies.
The 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.
At least two vessel allegedly smuggling Iraqi oil have sunk in the Arabian Gulf waters.
In early October, the Honduras-flagged vessel Georgios, which was allegedly smuggling Iraqi oil, sank. The US Navy said the Georgios was carrying almost 1,900 tons of Iraqi crude when it was intercepted.
It sank after being detained for more than four weeks.
The ship's unidentified owners charged that the US Navy sank the vessel “intentionally” following an argument between the captain and an inspection party, which escaped unharmed when the vessel sank.
The UAE was also hit with a costly clean-up bill after the Georgian-registered vessel Zainab, more than 30 years old and with a cargo of 1,300 tons of smuggled Iraqi oil, sank in May – Albawaba.com
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