Military forces allied with Libya’s self-declared government in Tripoli announced on Wednesday they had captured a Russian-flagged oil tanker and its crew trying to smuggle oil from the port of Zawara, Reuters reports.
“A Russian-flagged oil tanker was captured this afternoon when it tried to smuggle oil off Zawara,” said Twafik Alskir, a senior official with Tripoli-allied naval forces. No further details were disclosed.
According to Alskir, the tanker and 11 Russian crew onboard had been detained and taken to Tripoli port.
The vessel is most likely to be product tanker Mekhanik Chebotaryov (4,849dwt, built 1975) which AIS data shows currently anchored at Tripoli rather than heading to Valletta, Malta as scheduled.