Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) vows that the Persian Gulf will never be a safe place for smugglers as it seizes a foreign vessel in the northern part of the waterway for smuggling 200,000 liters of fuel in the third such incident this month.
Colonel Gholam Hossein Hosseini, the head of the public relations department of the second naval zone of the IRGC, told Fars news agency on Sunday that the eight crewmembers of the vessel were arrested and taken to the southern Iranian port city of Bushehr, where they will be handed over to the judicial authorities for complete investigation and legal proceedings.
He added that five other boats that intended to refuel the foreign-flagged vessel were also taken into custody for further investigation.
The IRGC official noted that fighting fuel smuggling is a top priority for the IRGC Navy in line with supporting the country’s national production and economy.
Hosseini emphasized that the shores of the Persian Gulf and its surrounding waters “will never be a safe place for profiteers and smugglers.”
On April 15, the IRGC seized a vessel carrying 250,000 liters of smuggled fuel in the Persian Gulf and detained seven of its crewmembers.
It came a few days after the IRGC confiscated a foreign vessel carrying 220,000 liters of smuggled fuel in the Persian Gulf region and arrested the entire 11 crew members.
The IRGC’s Navy has also foiled several attacks on Iranian and foreign tankers alike.
It recently released detailed footage of its operation against an American act of piracy targeting an Iranian fuel shipment last October. During the episode, US forces confiscated a 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.