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Libyan Navy seizes tanker suspected of smuggling fuel

Staff Writer |
Naval forces affiliated with Libya’s UN-backed unity government have seized an oil tanker suspected of smuggling fuel out of the country.

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In a Thursday statement, the Libyan Navy said the tanker was seized roughly 13 kilometers north of the island of Farwa off the coast of western Libya, where it had entered Libyan territorial waters without permission.

According to the statement, the tanker was flying the Togolese flag - and carrying an eight-member crew of Greek nationals - when it was intercepted and seized.

The statement did not say when exactly the seizure took place.

In April of last year, the Libyan Navy seized two oil tankers - flying Ukrainian and Congolese flags respectively - which had been carrying a total of some 4,500 tons of smuggled fuel.

In recent years, Libya, one of Africa’s largest oil producers, has struggled to rein in rampant fuel smuggling to neighboring countries, both by sea and by land.

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