The Libyan Coast Guard fired on a product tanker, Goeast, on Friday after the ship was caught taking oil out of the country without official permission and then disobeyed orders to stop.
The ship, flying the Comoros flag and owned by Ukrainian interests, was strafed with 30 mm ammunition west of Zuwarah.
A video posted on Saturday on the coastguard’s Facebook page shows shots being firing at the tanker, which starts to list heavily and capsize. The ship spilled very significant volumes of diesel in the process.
“The coastguard wanted to send a clear message to traffickers … to smuggling vessels … to all those who dare to touch (the resources of) the Libyan people in the future,” the navy said.
Many ships and seafarers have been targeted around Libya’s coastline since the country entered a bitter civil war six years ago.