An Indian-flagged cargo ship has been blacklisted by the UN Security Council for transporting crude oil illicitly exported from Libya.
The UN Security Council’s committee concerning Libya on Wednesday added the vessel ‘Distya Ameya’ to its sanctions list that includes names of individuals and entities subject to assets freeze, travel ban and other measures relating to attempts to illicitly export crude oil from Libya.
The listing makes the vessel prohibited to load, transport or discharge and enter ports.
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The designation is valid till July 26 unless terminated earlier by the Sanctions Committee.
The vessel, whose flag state is India, “may have been sold recently to an unknown buyer and the vessel’s name may have changed to Kassos,” said the Libya sanctions committee.
“The vessel Distya Ameya was listed pursuant to the resolution as transporting crude oil illicitly exported from Libya, based on information received from the Government of Libya,” the committee said in its reason for the listing.
As of April 26, the vessel was north of Al-Bayda, Libya, heading for Malta.
A senior Indian official said that the ship is on a time-charter agreement for a UAE-based company.
Being an Indian-flagged ship, the owner of the ship is registered in India but is doing work for a UAE-based company.
The official said India is already in touch with the ship and has told it to talk to the UAE entity about the UN decision and see how to address the issue.
The official made it clear that the ship is not working for or on behalf of the Indian government nor the oil it is transporting is for India or from an Indian entity.
Libya’s National Oil Corporation had said in a press release last week that it had notified the Libyan authorities of an attempt by the parallel administration in Beyda to export oil illicitly from Libya.
Tripoli-based NOC’s chairman Mustafa Sanalla said in the release its subsidiary Agoco in the east was instructed by a Beyda official to load the ‘Distya Ameya’ at the port of Marsa el-Hariga but the Libyan authorities took the necessary steps to stop the vessel from loading.
Agoco had been instructed to load 650,000 barrels of oil on April 21-23 at Marsa el-Hariga for DSA Consultancy FZC, a company registered in Sharjah, UAE.
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Through the Libyan mission to the UN, the Libyan government notified the UN Security Council’s Libya sanctions committee that the attempted export breached UNSC resolutions.
The vessel arrived at Marsa al-Hariga on the night of April 21 but was not cleared to load and remained at anchor.