Iranian footage shown for the first time depicts Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have seized a South Korean-flagged tanker in the Persian Gulf.
The MT Hankuk Chemi was reportedly stopped by Iranian authorities over alleged “oil pollution”, the Tehran-backed Fars News agency reports.
It was reportedly en route to UAE from Saudi Arabia when it was stopped. Pictures have emerged showing Iranian navy boats escorting the huge tanker in the Strait of Hormuz.
In a statement by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) Navy, the tanker was reported to be carrying 7,200 tonnes of ethanol, which is now being held in Iran’s port city of Bandar Abbas, Iranian news site, Press TV reports.
It also stated that the tanker’s crew, made up of mostly South Koreans and others from Vietnam, Indonesia and Myanmar have now been detained.
The case will be handed over to Iranian judicial officials to investigate after the ship is said to have violated maritime environmental laws, according to reports.
Dryad Global, a maritime security monitoring and advisory firm, said the South Korean ship Hankuk Chemi ‘diverted from her course northwards into Iranian territorial waters while inbound to Fujairah (in the UAE) from (the Saudi city of) Al Jubail.’
South Korean naval defence units are en route.