Libyan coast guards seize Russian-flagged oil tanker

Tripoli, Sep 17 (IANS) Libyan coast guards on Thursday seized a Russian-flagged oil tanker after it entered the regional waters without permission and attempted to smuggle oil, according to a coast guards official.

“We have received reports about a ship attempting to smuggle oil near Zwuarah. Therefore, we have issued orders to sail to Zwuarah,” said Mohamed Tawfeeq Al-Skir, operations commander of the Libyan Coast Guard’s central sector, Xinhau reported.

Al-Skir said local authorities are currently investigating with the ships crew members, which consist of 12 Russian nationals.

The ship reached Tripoli on Wednesday carrying five million liters of fuel, Al-Skir said.

The smuggling of oil was carried out on a regular basis in Libya due to the weak security conditions and state of chaos the country is suffering from since the fall and death of its former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

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