Kuwait said on Saturday it had seized an Iraqi oil tanker trying to smuggle 650 tons of fuel to the United Arab Emirates in violation of international sanctions, reported Kuwait News Agency (KUNA).
The agency quoted an interior ministry statement as saying that Kuwaiti patrol boats intercepted the tanker at dawn on Saturday inside Kuwaiti territorial waters while sailing from Iraq's Umm Qasr port to the UAE.
It said that 11 crewmembers were on board the tanker, which it said was carrying diesel fuel.
Under the sanctions, imposed on Iraq over its 1990 invasion of Kuwait, Baghdad is allowed to sell oil only under close United Nations scrutiny to finance the purchase of food and medicine.
Ships that caught smuggling Iraqi oil are usually auctioned off and proceeds are deposited with the United Nations, which supervises the purchase of humanitarian supplies by Iraq, said the agency.
The commander of the US Navy in the Gulf, Charles Moore, said in March that oil smuggling from Iraq had risen sharply since September due to higher oil prices, according to the agency - Albawaba.com
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