Iran seizes foreign ship, detains crew

Iranian authorities seized a foreign ship that was alleged to have been attempting to smuggle fuel out of the country. The crew were detained, state news agency IRNA said on May 18th.

Iran heavily subsidizes its fuel for domestic consumption, which makes attractive the smuggling of fuel abroad to places where the price is far higher. The recent decline in the value of the Iranian currency has made the arbitrage even more attractive.

The ship was said to have been carrying more than 550,000 litres of smuggled fuel. It was seized in Gulf waters and escorted to harbour in the southern province of Hormozgan, where it was handed to judicial authorities for investigation, IRNA said.

 “We were able to identify and detain a ship carrying smuggled fuel intended to transport large-scale smuggled fuel shipments east of Maru Island,” chief of provincial border guards Hossein Dehaki said.