For Fuel Smuggling, Libya Detains 20 Filipinos On Liberian-Flagged Tanker

 

By Noel Tarrazona

The Philippine government has instructed its embassy in Libya to “exert all efforts” to secure the immediate release of the 20 Filipino seafarers who are presently detained on the suspicion that they were trying to smuggle six million liters (1.6 million gallons) of fuel to Tunisia.

The 20 Filipino seafarers were detained on Sunday when Libyan authorities intercepted the Liberian-flagged tanker Levant sailing 110 miles from Tripoli. The Libyan Coast Guard then took the vessel, operated by Evalend Shipping Tankers in Athens, under tow, and the seafarers were taken to Libya’s prosecutor general.

In response to Philippines Foreign Affairs Minister Allan Peter Cayetano’s request, the Libyan government assured Philippine embassy officials in Tripoli that the detainees are being treated well and are in good condition.

Since the 2011 revolution that ended Gaddafi’s leadership of Libya, oil smuggling has become rampant in the region. In July, the U.N. Security Council extended sanctions on illegal oil exports from Libya in a bid to stop rampant smuggling of subsidized fuel by sea. Imported fuel that is priced lower for the domestic market is commonly smuggled by ship from western Libya to Malta, Italy and Turkey, and by land to Tunisia, according to U.N. investigators.

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Source: News Now/maritime-executive.com

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About Cholo Brooks 13357 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.