EU NAVFOR boards tanker suspected of smuggling oil to Libya

Photo: EU NAVFOR Med Irini

Elements of the European Union Naval Force Mediterranean Operation Irini (EU NAVFOR Med Irini) boarded and inspected a commercial tanker early in the morning (local time) of Thursday, September 10, for suspected violation of the UN arms embargo on Libya.

The boarding team of an Irini ship boarded the Marshall Islands-flagged Royal Diamond 7 in international waters 150 kilometres north of the Libyan city of Derna at 07:00 on Thursday.

The vessel departed from the port of Sharjah in the UAE and was heading to Benghazi with a cargo of jet fuel, which EU NAVFOR officials said is likely to be used for military purposes.

This fuel is considered as “military material” by the UN and therefore UN Security Council Resolution 2292 (2016) and 2526 (2020) apply.

The boarding operation was carried out by the German Navy frigate Hamburg with the support of the flagship of Operation Irini, the Italian Navy frigate Margottini.

Royal Diamond 7 was denied access to Libyan territorial waters and has since been ordered to divert to a port of the European Union for further investigation.

Irini was operating on information provided by UN Panel of Experts on Libya, which highlighted the suspicious nature of this cargo.

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