Gibraltar detains oil tanker bound for Syria

London: A supertanker suspected of carrying crude oil to Syria has been seized by Gibraltar for acting in violation of EU sanctions, the territory's Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said on Thursday. British Royal Marines, along with Gibraltar port and law enforcement agencies, seized the oil tanker Grace 1 which was carrying crude oil to the Baniyas Refinery in Syria, the BBC reported.

The refinery is subject to European Union sanctions against Syria, Picardo said, adding that there was a reason to believe that the ship was carrying crude oil to the Syrian refinery.

The Baniyas refinery in the Syrian Mediterranean port town of Tartous is a subsidiary of the General Corporation for Refining and Distribution of Petroleum Products, a section of the Syrian Ministry of petroleum.

"That refinery is the property of an entity that is subject to EU sanctions against Syria," Picardo said. "Be assured that Gibraltar remains safe, secure and committed to the international, rules-based, legal order," he said, thanking the police.

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