British oil tanker anchors off Saudi Arabian coast amid fears of Iranian retaliation

The Iranian regime has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, the channel the British Heritage would need to sail through to leave the Arabian Gulf. (AFP/File Photo)
Updated 09 July 2019
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British oil tanker anchors off Saudi Arabian coast amid fears of Iranian retaliation

  • The ship British Heritage, run by oil company BP, has dropped anchor off the coast of Saudi Arabia
  • The tanker was sailing toward Basrah terminal in Iraq when ship tracking showed it performed a U-turn

LONDON: A British oil tanker has halted its journey through the Strait of Hormuz for fear of being seized by Iran in response to the capture of a ship by UK forces last week.
The ship British Heritage, run by oil company BP, has dropped anchor off the coast of Saudi Arabia inside the Arabian Gulf, Bloomberg reported.
The tanker was sailing toward Basrah terminal in Iraq when ship tracking showed it performed a U-turn within 40 kilometers of the port on Saturday.
The ship, which can carry 1 million barrels of oil, is now anchored off the eastern coast of the Kingdom.
The vessel is flying under the British flag and had been chartered by Royal Dutch Shell to transport crude from Basrah to northwest Europe, Bloomberg reported. It didn’t collect that cargo and the booking was canceled.
The report said BP fears the ship could become a target of Iranian forces seeking to retaliate for the seizing by British Royal Marines of the Grace 1 last week off the coast of Gibraltar. BP refused to comment on the status of the British Heritage when contacted by Arab News.
The UK said the Iranian tanker Grace 1 was attempting to deliver Iranian oil to Syria via the Mediterranean in breach of international sanctions.
Tehran called the seizure of its tanker “an act of piracy” and a former Revolutionary Guard chief said Iran should seize a British ship in response.
The Iranian regime has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, the channel the British Heritage would need to sail through to leave the Arabian Gulf. The narrow waterway, which is a conduit for about a fifth of the world’s crude oil supplies, forces vessels to sail close to the Iranian coast.
Iran has received international condemnation after the US said Tehran was responsible for a string of attacks on vessels in the waters off the UAE and Oman.


Dead body business attracts medics, drug dealers in Egypt

Egyptian Christians stand outside St. Markos Church in Minya, south of Cairo, Egypt, in this Jan. 6, 2015 file photo. (AP)
Updated 23 July 2019
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Dead body business attracts medics, drug dealers in Egypt

  • Some of the gravediggers remove tissues and grease from the bones by boiling them to remove their odor before selling them to students

CAIRO: The Egyptian Orthodox Church has issued a statement condemning the theft of the body of the Patriarch Gerges, son of priest Ibrahim Al-Basit, from his family’s burial place in the Minya governorate.
Last Saturday, the cemetery was opened and Al-Basit’s body was stolen. The crime of stealing the bodies of the dead has recently spread across Egypt, especially while the sanctity of the body remains preserved. It is also common for the remains to be collected two years after the burial.
Last October, a gang was arrested after stealing bodies from their graves. An investigation has revealed that the main defendant sold the bodies to medical students for practical learning.
Some of the gravediggers remove tissues and grease from the bones by boiling them to remove their odor before selling them to students.
The investigation found that the defendant had put a price on various limbs. The leg and the arm were priced at 3,000 Egyptian pounds ($180), the skull cost 5,000 pounds and the whole body was worth 20,000 pounds.
Ashraf Farahat, a legal expert and lawyer, said that Egyptian law demands up to five years of imprisonment and a fine of 100-500 pounds for criminals who violate the sanctity of graves.
Yasser Sayed Ahmed, a legal expert and lawyer, said he knew of many cases where cemetery guards and assistants help people access graves for superstitious reasons in exchange for large sums of money.
The majority of these cases are happening with the help of the guards of the tombs. They exhume graves at night to extract the bodies and separate the organs to sell bones and skulls. They often sell them to drug dealers by grinding and mixing some materials for sale at high prices.