The Iranian coast guard has seized a foreign tugboat suspected of smuggling fuel in the Persian Gulf and detained its 12 Filipino crew members, state television reported on Saturday September 7th. The report claimed that the tugboat was carrying nearly 284,000 litres of diesel. The report did not name the vessel or say what flag the vessel was flying.
Iran subsidizes fuel heavily, making attractive the smuggling of Iranian oil either overland to neighbouring countries or by sea to other Gulf Arab states. It has frequently seized boats it says are being used for smuggling fuel in the Gulf.
Iranian media reports say an estimated 10m litres of fuel are smuggled out of Iran every day.