Gibraltar, Royal Marines Detain Tanker en Route to Syria

Gibraltar authorities and British Royal Marines have detained a supertanker carrying crude oil to Syria. 

The Panama-flagged very large crude carrier (VLCC) Grace 1 and its cargo were detained by Gibraltar Port and Law Enforcement agencies, assisted by a detachment of the Royal Navy, in the early morning hours of July 4.

“This action arose from information giving the Gibraltar Government reasonable grounds to believe that the vessel, the Grace 1, was acting in breach of European Union sanctions against Syria,” the Government of Gibraltar said in a statement.

“We have reason to believe that the Grace 1 was carrying its shipment of crude oil to the Banyas Refinery in Syria,” the government added.

As explained, the refinery is the property of an entity subject to EU sanctions against Syria.

Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said he informed the presidents of the European Commission and Council about the details of the sanctions enforcement.

Built in 1997, the 300,600 dwt Grace 1 is operated by the UAE-based Russian Titan Shipping Lines, according to data provided by VesselsValue.