Gibraltar police arrest captain, officer of detained Iran tanker Grace 1

A British Royal Navy ship (back R) patrols near supertanker Grace 1 suspected of carrying crude oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions after it was detained off the coast of Gibraltar on July 4, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 12 July 2019

Gibraltar police arrest captain, officer of detained Iran tanker Grace 1

  •  Gibraltar police have arrested the Indian captain and chief officer of a seized Iranian tanker suspected of breaching EU sanctions by shipping oil to Syria
  • The two men, both Indian nationals, were arrested on Thursday afternoon but neither have been charged

GIBRALTAR: Gibraltar police have arrested the Indian captain and chief officer of a seized Iranian tanker suspected of breaching EU sanctions by shipping oil to Syria, Royal Gibraltar Police said Thursday.
"This follows a protracted search of the vessel where documents and electronic devices have been seized and examined," police said in a statement.
Gibraltar police are interviewing both men, who have "been accorded their legal entitlements and access to consular representation," it added.
Gibraltar forces and British marines boarded the ship, Grace 1, and seized it on July 4 off the coast of Gibraltar, saying they believed it to be destined for Syria to deliver oil, which is subject to European sanctions.
Tests have shown the 330 metre (1,000 feet) tanker which is capable of carrying two million barrels of oil, was "carrying a full load of crude oil", the government of Gibraltar said Monday.
Iran has condemned the detention as an "illegal interception" and said the tanker was not headed to Syria.
The arrests come after London said earlier on Thursday that armed Iranian boats tried to "impede" a UK supertanker in the Gulf before being warned off by a British warship.
Iran's Revolutionary Guards denied involvement but also cautioned both the United States and Britain that they would "strongly regret" the UK Royal Marines' detention of the Grace 1.
Gibraltar police said the investigation was still on-going and the tanker remained detained.


Saudi Arabia, other Middle East countries warn citizens after protests erupt in Lebanon

Updated 55 min 18 sec ago

Saudi Arabia, other Middle East countries warn citizens after protests erupt in Lebanon

  • Saudi Arabia and Egypt called on citizens to avoid protest areas
  • Kuwait’s embassy in Lebanon asked citizens wishing to travel to Lebanon to postpone their plans

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Lebanon called on its citizens to avoid places where protests are taking place in the country on Friday. 

The Kingdom’s embassy in Beirut advised its nationals to take care and to “stay away from places of protest,” Al-Ekhbariya news channel reported. 

It also announced that the Lancaster Plaza Beirut hotel in the capital's Raouche neighborhood is a gathering point from which Saudi nationals can be transported to Beirut airport. 

Egypt’s embassy in the Lebanese capital Beirut also called on its nationals in the country to avoid protest areas, Egyptian state news agency MENA said.

“The embassy calls on all Egyptian citizens in Lebanon to avoid the areas of gatherings and protests, to be careful in their movements and to abide by the instructions of the Lebanese authorities in this regard,” MENA said.

Meanwhile, Kuwait’s embassy in Lebanon asked citizens wishing to travel to Lebanon to wait because of the current protests and unrest.

“The embassy also calls on citizens currently in Lebanon to take utmost care and stay away from crowds and demonstrations,” the embassy said in its tweet.

Protesters across Lebanon blocked roads with burning tires on Friday and thousands marched in Beirut, calling on the government to resign over an economic crisis.