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Seized tanker ‘Advantage Sweet’ remains in Iranian waters

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TEHRAN : Iran’s army has seized a Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman after it collided with an Iranian boat, injuring several crewmen, state media reported.

“A Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker was seized by the Iranian army’s naval force in the Persian Gulf after it collided with an Iranian boat in the Gulf of Oman and tried to flee,” the Iran army statement said on Thursday.

Satellite tracking data for the vessel from MarineTraffic.com showed the tanker ‘Advantage Sweet’ in the Gulf of Oman just north of Oman’s capital, Muscat, on Thursday afternoon.

The Advantage Sweet, a suezmax with 24 Indian crew operated by Turkey’s Advantage Tankers, remains at an Iranian anchorage, having been seized by Iranian military forces on Thursday.

TankerTrackers.com identified that the Advantage Sweet, abducted in the Gulf of Oman, had been moved to the anchorage of Bandar Abbas in Iran, where it remains today. The ship was carrying a cargo of crude for Chevron, bound for Houston, when it was stormed by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Navy Corps. The last time Iran seized tankers it took up to six months to get the crews released.

An Advantage Tankers spokesmen said over the weekend: “We remain very concerned for our crew and wish to see them repatriated as soon as possible.”

According to maritime security firm Ambrey, a Marshall Islands-flagged, US private equity-owned, and Greek-managed tanker was seized by US authorities at least five days prior to the tanker seizure by Iran. This tanker was suspected to be carrying Iranian crude oil, in breach of US sanctions. US authorities intercepted the vessel after obtaining a court order.

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