An oil tanker tied to a sanctioned Iranian individual and under arrest in UAE waters has recently left the UAE port in violation of a Prohibition to Sail notice and has been hijacked, seafarers’ organization Human Rights at Sea told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Human Rights at Sea raised concerns over the location of the tanker MV Gulf Sky and its 22 Indian crew. The vessel was under arrest under a UAE Admiralty Law injunction and was issued a Prohibition to Sail notice via the Commonwealth of Dominica while anchored off Port Khor Fakkan Anch. The tanker, however, has left UAE waters violating both the injunction and the prohibition to sail, and the last signal received from the vessel was eight days ago, the organization said on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, Human Rights at Sea’s CEO, David Hammond, told the AP that the tanker had been hijacked and was in Iranian waters. Two of the Indian sailors remained in Tehran while the others made it back to India, Hammond told the AP.
According to Marine Traffic, the last position received from the tanker was on July 5 and the vessel is currently out of range.
TankerTrackers.com said they were asked to try to locate the missing tanker, and found it on Tuesday west of Hormuz Island offshore Iran.
The tanker was under arrest in the UAE over suspicions of trying to circumvent the U.S. sanctions on Iran.
The vessel is tied to Amir Dianat, also known as Ameer Abdulazeez Jaafar Almthaje, who was recently designated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury for being involved in the efforts of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) to generate revenue and smuggle weapons abroad. The U.S. also filed criminal charges against Dianat and one of his business associates for violations of sanctions and money laundering laws, and filed a related civil forfeiture action alleging that some $12 million is subject to forfeiture as funds involved in these crimes and as assets of a foreign terrorist organization.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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