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Representative photo (File: AFP)
DUBAI: An oil tanker demanded by the US for allegedly bypassing sanctions Iran He was hijacked off the coast of the United Arab Emirates on July 5, a seafarer organization said on Wednesday.
Satellite photos showed the ship in Iranian waters on Tuesday and two of its sailors remained in the Iranian capital. It was not immediately clear what happened in Dominica’s flagged MT Gulf Sky, although reports of it being hijacked come after months of tensions between Iran and the US.
David Hammond, CEO of the United Kingdom-based group Human Rights on Sea, said 26 Indian sailors had brought it back to India, while two remained in Tehran, without expanding.
“We are happy to hear that the crew is safe and sound, which has been our basic concern from the beginning,” Hammond told The Associated Press.
Hammond said he took a witness statement from the captain of the MT Gulf Sky, confirming that the ship was hijacked.
He said he had no other details on the vessel.
TankerTrackers.com, a website tracking the oil trade at sea, said it saw the ship in Iranian waters off Hormuz island in satellite photos on Tuesday.
Hormuz Island, near the port city of Bandar Abbas, 190 km north of Khorfakkan, is a city on the eastern coast of the United Arab Emirates where the ship was in for months.
Rich government American embassy The 5th Fleet, based in Abu Dhabi and the Bahrain of the US Navy, did not respond to requests for comment. Iranian state media did not immediately report on the vessel and Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In May, the US Department of Justice filed criminal charges against two Iranians, accusing them of USD 12 million to buy a tanker, then named MT Nautica through a series of front-end companies. The US government said the ship then went abroad to take Iranian oil from Kharg Island.
Court documents state the plan includes Iran’s army of paramilitary Revolutionary Guards, its elite unit, as well as Iran’s national oil and tanker companies. One of the two men accused, also holds an Iraqi passport, is in large measure.
The Justice Department stated, “Because an American bank sold the money related to the sale of the vessel, the seller never received payment.” “As a result, the seller initiated a civil action in the United Arab Emirates to recover the vessel.”
Civil action is believed to be still pending, raising questions as to how the tankers left the Emirates after being seized by authorities there.
MT Gulf Sky data Automatic detection system According to the ship tracking website MarineTraffic.com, the tracker reveals that it was closed on July 5 at 4:30 am. Ships are supposed to keep their AIS tracker on, but Iranian ships routinely cease to mask their movements.
Meanwhile, 28 Indian sailors aboard the ship found themselves stranded on board for months without pay. International labor organization. It filed a report stating that the ship and its sailors had been abandoned by its owners from Khorfakan since March. The ILO did not respond to a request for comment.
Tensions between Iran and the US increased last year, particularly near the important strait of Hormuz, becoming the target of tankers near the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf, of which 20 percent of oil passes.
Suspected border attacks on Iran targeting several US military tankers. Iran refused to join, although it seized several tankers.
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