The U.S. Department of Justice seized the oil aboard a Russian oil tanker, and it is in the process of transferring the oil to the United States on a chartered tanker.
he tanker LANA (formerly PEGAS) was detained nearly seven weeks ago in Greece when authorities thought it was covered by the EU sanctions on Russian assets, but later held for mechanical deficiencies.
Later watchdog groups announced that it was actually smuggling sanctioned Iranian oil.
The Aframax tanker arrived off Greece early in April with reports of a possible mechanical failure and indications that they were looking for assistance to make repairs to continue their voyage.
When the ship anchored south of the Greek island of Evia, it was identified as the Russian-flagged Pegas. The assumption at the time was that it was laden with a Russian crude oil cargo.
“The seizure came at the request of the Americans because the cargo came from a sanctioned country and moved on a sanctioned ship,” a Greek official told Dow Jones.
The American authorities have been using the courts to seize Iranian oil in violation of the sanctions imposed on the trade. The watchdog group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), which has been following the movements of the vessel, first announced the apparent ship-to-ship transfer.