U.S. successfully seizes Venezuela-bound Iranian fuel from four tankers

Written by Nick Blenkey
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M/T Bering: One of four tankers whose cargo was seized

The U.S. Justice Department today reported the successful disruption of a multimillion dollar fuel shipment by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a designated foreign terrorist organization, that was bound for Venezuela.

The department said the actions marked the government’s largest-ever seizure of fuel shipments from Iran.

As we reported earlier, on July 2, 2020, the United States filed a complaint seeking to forfeit all petroleum-product cargo aboard four foreign-flagged oil tankers, the M/T Bella (IMO number 9208124), the M/T Bering (9149225), the M/T Pandi (9105073), and the M/T Luna (9208100).

The government said today that it has now successfully executed the seizure order and confiscated the cargo from all four vessels, totaling approximately 1.116 million barrels of petroleum. With the assistance of foreign partners, this seized property is now in U.S. custody.

Clearing up another mystery, the Justice Department said that Iran’s boarding of the tanker Wila was “an apparent attempt to recover the seized petroleum, but was unsuccessful.”

Funds successfully forfeited with a connection to a state sponsor of terrorism may in whole or in part be directed to the United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund after the conclusion of the case.

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