Kuwait's coast guard has seized a small oil tanker suspected of smuggling Iraqi crude oil and detained a number of Iraqi crewmembers, a security source said Saturday.
The undisclosed number of Iraqis were among 13 crewmembers on the vessel, which was seized for violating Kuwait's territorial waters, the source told AFP. He did not give the nationality of the tanker.
Kuwait's interior ministry declined to comment on the incident.
In the last three months Kuwait has seized several wooden ships allegedly carrying hundreds of tonnes of Iraqi goods to Gulf Arab states. 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 an embargo since its August 1990 invasion of Kuwait and is authorised to export crude only under strict UN control to buy food, medicine and other essential goods.—AFP.
©--Agence France Presse.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )