A Russian-flagged oil tanker has been seized by military forces pertaining to rival government in Libya as the ship’s crew reportedly tried to smuggle oil from the port of Zawara.
“A Russian-flagged oil tanker was captured this afternoon when it tried to smuggle oil off Zawara,“ Twafik Alskir, a senior official with Tripoli-allied naval forces is quoted as saying by Reuters.
The oil-rich country is struggling with two governments, an internationally-recognized government led by Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni and a self-proclaimed rival government controlling Libya’s capital.
As informed, the tanker has been taken to Tripoli, while the Russian crew has been detained.
The tanker in question has been identified as the 4,949 DWT Mekhanik Chebotaryov, built in 1975.
According to the latest vessel tracking data from Marine Traffic, the ship is currently in Tripoli its status being “stopped”. The tanker’s last known port is Azov, Russia and the its destination was Valetta, Malta. The ship is owned and managed by Russian shipping company Roschartering CJSC.
World Maritime News Staff