A report by Reuters news agency claims Indonesian authorities have confiscated an Iranian-flagged large oil tanker because of violation of maritime rules in waters off the Southeast Asian country.
The Tuesday report by Reuters identified the Iranian Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) as MT Arman 114 and said it had been seized by Indonesia’s coast guard last week because it dumped oil into the ocean and was transferring oil to a Cameron-flagged tanker named MT S Tinos.
There was no confirmation of the report by the Indonesian authorities nor there was any report of the incident on Indonesia’s official news agency Antara.
Iranian authorities have not commented on the report. The official IRNA news agency mentioned Reuters’ claims in a report on Tuesday.
The report by Reuters said the Iranian VLCC was carrying 272,569 metric tons of light crude oil, valued at $304 million, when it was seized on Friday in Indonesia's North Natuna Sea, adding that a total of 32 people onboard the ship, including its Egyptian captain, had been detained.
Iran has been using various tactics to sell its oil to customers in East Asia since 2018 when the United States imposed a raft of sanctions on Iranian oil exports after Washington pulled out of an international deal on Tehran’s nuclear program.
Statements by Iranian authorities and reports by international tanker tracking services have suggested there has been a major surge in Iranian oil deliveries to private buyers in China in recent months.
Some estimates suggest oil exports from Iran reached as much as 2 million barrels per day on average in May, a record not seen in the past five years.
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