Foreign tanker and trawler seized in Libya
Libya seized a foreign oil tanker and trawler Wednesday off the country’s western coast and detained their crews for questioning in Tripoli, the navy and coastguard said.
“The Rex, a Tanzanian-flagged tanker registered in Zanzibar, was intercepted” loaded with a suspected illegal cargo of Libyan diesel, navy spokesman General Ayoub Kacem told AFP.
A coastguard official in Tripoli, Colonel Abu Ajila Abdelbarri, said the vessel had been under surveillance for several days.
He said a Maltese trawler was also seized for fishing in Libyan waters without authorisation.
On Monday, the navy said it had seized a Greek-owned oil tanker near the maritime border with Tunisia and detained its crew on suspicion of fuel smuggling.
Plunged into conflict and political chaos since a 2011 revolution that ousted and killed Libya’s longtime leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, oil smuggling to Tunisia, Malta and Tunisia has become a lucrative trade.