The U.S. Department of Justice has applied to seize the tanker Grace 1, carrying Iranian oil, in Gibraltar, according to the Gibraltar Chronicle.
Namely, the authorities have made a last-minute application to block the release of the tanker, that was seized in waters off Gibraltar by the UK in early July under suspicion of violating EU sanctions and transferring oil to Syria.
The Gibraltar Chronicle reported that the country had been due to lift the detention on the ship in the morning hours of August 15, however, the move by the U.S. authorities postponed the decision until 4 pm.
Joseph Triay, the lawyer for Gibraltar’s Attorney General Michael Llamas QC, was cited as saying that the application “was to have taken a very different turn. It was to have been an application for no further order of detention.”
The exact reasons for the U.S. application remain unclear.
World Maritime News Staff