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Iran’s Revolutionary Guards seize foreign fuel-smuggling boat, detain 11 crew members

Illustrative -- In this photo released Feb. 17, 2021, by the Iranian army, an Iranian naval vessel flying an Iranian flag participates in a joint naval exercise of the Russian navy, the Iranian navy and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's navy in the Indian Ocean. (Iranian Army via AP)
Illustrative -- In this photo released Feb. 17, 2021, by the Iranian army, an Iranian naval vessel flying an Iranian flag participates in a joint naval exercise of the Russian navy, the Iranian navy and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's navy in the Indian Ocean. (Iranian Army via AP)

TEHRAN — Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have seized a foreign boat smuggling fuel in the Gulf and arrested its 11 crew members, a senior justice official says.

“Naval forces have seized a foreign vessel carrying smuggled fuel in Persian Gulf waters,” says Mojtaba Ghahramani, justice chief for Iran’s southern Hormozgan province, state television reports.

“Over 220,000 liters of smuggled fuel were seized and 11 foreign crew members were detained for investigation,” Ghahramani says.

Ghahramani did not specify the date the boat was seized, nor the origin of the vessel or nationality of the crew.

The Guards also captured an “Iranian boat carrying 20,000 liters of smuggled diesel, intended to supply the foreign ship” and arrested three crew members, Ghahramani adds, noting the seizure was made “in the territorial waters” of Iran.

The incident comes in the wake of a series of seizures of vessels in the sea lanes serving the Gulf, where a large portion of the world’s oil is produced and shipped.

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