A super tanker suspected of carrying oil to Syria breaching European Union sanctions was seized by British Royal Marine Commandos with the authorities in Gibraltar.
The British government welcomed the “firm action by the Gibraltarian authorities” as the EU has imposed sanctions against Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria.
Fabian Picardo, Gibraltar’s chief minister praised the Royal Marines and said they are “brave men and women.”
Statement on the detention of the Super Tanker "Grace 1". pic.twitter.com/bzD9WMR6nH
— Fabian Picardo (@FabianPicardo) July 4, 2019
Picardo said, “In the early hours of this morning, Gibraltar port and law enforcement agencies, assisted by a detachment of Royal Marines, boarded a supertanker carrying crude oil to Syria.
“We have detained the vessel and its cargo. This action arose from information giving the Gibraltar government reasonable grounds to believe that the vessel, the Grace 1, was acting in breach of EU sanctions against Syria.
“In fact, we have reason to believe that the Grace 1 was carrying its shipment of crude oil to the Banyas refinery in Syria.”
He added, “I want to thank the brave men and women of the Royal Marines, the Royal Gibraltar Police, HM Customs Gibraltar and the Gibraltar Port Authority for their work in securing the detention of this vessel and its cargo.
“Be assured that Gibraltar remains safe, secure and committed to the international rules-based legal order.”
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office said, “We welcome this firm action by the Gibraltarian authorities, acting to enforce the EU Syria Sanctions regime.”
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