Report: Tanker Seized for Suspected Oil Transfer to North Korea
Panama-flagged ship Koti was seized by the South Korean authorities as the vessel is believed to have transferred oil products to North Korea in spite of international sanctions, Reuters reported citing customs officials.
The oil product tanker was seized at Pyeongtaek-Dangjin port, south of Incheon, in the second half of December 2017, based on the report.
Yonhap news agency said that the 5,100-ton tanker was denied permission to leave the port on December 21 and that it is being probed by the customs officials over suspected oil supplies to North Korea.
The ship is said to be the second vessel under investigation over ship-to-ship supplies of petroleum products to North Korea, banned under the international sanctions over Pyongyang’s nuclear missile program.
Namely, a Hong Kong-flagged ship identified as the Lighthouse Winmore is also being probed for transferring oil to a North Korean vessel named Samjong No. 2. on Oct. 19, Yonhap informed.
North Korea has been found to have employed deceptive shipping practices, including ship-to-ship transfers, a practice prohibited by United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2375 of September 11, 2017, on several occasions so far. As a result, numerous ships flagged in the country have been blacklisted.
On December 22, 2017, the United Nations Security Council imposed new harsher sanctions on North Korea.
In line with a new resolution, the UN Member States banned the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to the DPRK of crude oil, refined petroleum products, and various types of equipment and raw materials.
The restrictions apply to the member states’ territories, nationals, flagged vessels, aircraft, pipelines, rail lines, or vehicles and whether or not originating in their territories.
Further, it was decided that vessels believed of being involved in such activities would be seized, inspected, and impounded.
World Maritime News Staff