A seizure warrant and forfeiture complaint were launched on August 16, in the US District Court for the District of Columbia alleging that Oil Tanker ‘Grace 1,’ all petroleum aboard it and $995,000.00 are subject to forfeiture.
The Grace 1, the Iranian VLCC that was seized by British armed forces off Gibraltar on July 4, has now departed the UK sovereign territory on August 19, heading east across the Mediterranean. The vessel was part of a diplomatic issue, as it was accused of transporting oil for Syria.
As the Financial Times report, leading security companies removed British guards from vessels sailing in the Gulf of Oman, in fear that Iran may capture UK nationals as tensions soar in the Middle East.
The Israeli Foreign Minister, Yisrael Katz, announced that Israel will join the US military coalition for maritime security in the Strait of Hormuz. The aim of the coalition is to protect vessels sailing through the Strait and boost maritime safety.
Following the tensions in the Strait of Hormuz, US proposed on a maritime coalition to assist vessels transferring oil. Reuters reports that China is considering entering the coalition concerning ‘Gulf escort arrangements.’
19 days after the seizure of the British-flagged tanker ‘Stena Impero’ by Iranian authorities at the Strait of Hormuz, the vessel still remains detained along with its 23 crew members, which is “unacceptable and unjustifiable”, said the owner Tuesday.
The UK Royal Navy announced it will take the lead in a new international maritime security mission, working alongside the US navy to assure the security of merchant vessels in the Strait of Hormuz. The decision was announced during an international conference in Bahrain last week.
Effective from 2 August, the Warlike Operations Area Committee (WOAC) has agreed to temporarily designate the Strait of Hormuz as a High-Risk Area, as part of an increased danger associated with the latest developments in the region. The agreement gives seafarers the right to refuse to work onboard vessels transiting the Strait of Hormuz.
Australian Minister for Defence, Linda Reynolds, stated to reporters during the annual US-Australian security talks in Sydney, that the US request, to join in the coalition to protect the vessels that sail in the Strait of Hormuz, is seriously taken under consideration.
Department’s of Homeland Security agencies detected and chased a suspected smuggling boat that was illegally transmitting about 1,400 pounds of marijuana, about 40 miles southwest of San Diego. The incident took place on July 25.
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