ARX Mouldings is following reports that 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. In the ensuing days since the ship – owned by SPDB Financial Leasing of China – was taken in international waters, it has emerged that Iran acted in retaliation for a Greek-managed tanker being taken by US authorities eight days ago for carrying Iranian oil, which are hit by sanctions.
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.