Iran Revolutionary Guards seize fuel-smuggling ship in Gulf waters, seven arrested
Iran's Revolutionary Guards said Friday they seized another vessel smuggling fuel in the Gulf and arrested its seven crew members, the second such incident in as many weeks.
"Naval forces have seized a vessel carrying smuggled fuel in the Persian Gulf," said Gholamhossein Hosseini, a public relations official of the Guards, quoted by the state news agency IRNA.
"During the inspection of this vessel, 250,000 litres (66,000 gallons) of smuggled fuel were discovered," he said, adding that "seven crew members of this vessel are also in detention to complete the investigation process and legal steps".
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is the ideological arm of Iran's military.
"The fight against smuggling, especially of fuel, in the Persian Gulf is one of the important missions of the IRGC Navy," Hosseini said.
He did not specify the date the boat was seized, its origin or the nationalities of the crew.
The incident comes in the wake of a wave of seizures of vessels in the sea lanes serving the Gulf, where a large portion of the world's oil is produced and shipped.
Last week, Iran announced its seizure of a foreign boat carrying over 220,000 litres of smuggled fuel and the arrest of its 11 crew members, without giving further details.