Coast guard officials from Iran seized a boat on Saturday and arrested 12 Filipinos, who they claimed were part of a “fuel-smuggling ring” in the Strait of Hormuz.
Iran’s semi-official news agency ISNA said: “A foreign tugboat was confiscated as well as 283,900 liters (75,000 gallons) of petrol worth 233.71 billion rials (about $2 million).”
ISNA quoted Major Hossein Dehaki, the coast guard chief in the southern province of Hormozgan, saying: “Twelve Philippine nationals were arrested and the relevant judiciary officials are currently taking the required legal measures.”
Dehaki said the group was believed to be a fuel-smuggling ring. The shipment of fuel had been confiscated after the tugboat was intercepted close to Sirik county.
The seizure comes amid tensions in the Gulf after the United States unilaterally withdrew from a nuclear deal putting curbs on Iran’s nuclear program in return for relief from sanctions.
Source: Asia Times. Continue reading…