Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has confiscated a vessel carrying thousands of liters of smuggled fuel in the Persian Gulf, the second such seizure in less than a week.
Colonel Gholam Hossein Hosseini, the head of the public relations department of the second naval zone of the IRGC, announced on Friday that the ship, smuggling 250,000 liters of fuel, had been confiscated by the IRGC personnel of the naval zone.
“During the seizure, seven of the ship’s crew members were detained and would remain in custody until the completion of investigation and the legal proceedings,” Hosseini said, adding that the ship and its crew would be handed over to competent authorities during the legal process.
The IRGC’s official referred to countering fuel smuggling as one of the important missions of the IRGC’s Navy and said, “This is our top priority.” He said the IRGC force keeps streamlined monitoring of movements in the region.
On April 9, Mojtaba Ghahramani, head of the Justice Department of Iran’s southern province of Hormozgan, said the IRGC Navy forces had seized a foreign vessel carrying 220,000 liters of smuggled fuel in Parsian County, south of Hormozgan.
Ghahramani said 11 foreign crew members were detained, but he provided no details on the nationality of the confiscated vessel.
The incidents came after a series of seizures of smuggler vessels by Iranian Navy forces in the sea lanes serving the Persian Gulf, where a large portion of the world’s oil is produced and shipped.
In November 2021, the IRGC announced the arrest of a foreign boat carrying 150,000 liters of smuggled diesel and the arrest of 11 foreign crew members.
The IRGC’s Navy has foiled several attacks on Iranian and foreign tankers alike.
The elite force recently released detailed footage of its confrontation on October 25, 2021with an American act of piracy targeting an Iranian fuel shipment. During the episode, US forces confiscated the tanker that was carrying a cargo of Iranian oil in the strategic Sea of Oman, transferring its consignment of crude to another vessel. The IRGC then staged a maritime operation against the second vessel, landing its helicopters on its deck and navigating the ship towards Iranian waters.