Iran seizes the ship and arrests 16 Malaysian crew members: state television | Malaysia News

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Iran's Revolutionary Guard seized a ship suspected of smuggling fuel and arrested 16 members of the Malaysian crew, state media reported Monday night.

The IRIB state television website said the guards confiscated 1.3 million liters of "smuggled fuel,quot; from the unidentified ship 15 nautical miles off the island of Abu Musa.

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"The 16 crew of the ship that are of Malaysian nationality were arrested," said Naval Commander of the Guard for the region, Brigadier General Ali Ozmayi.

Abu Musa is one of the three islands in the southern Gulf that are under Iranian control but claimed by the United Arab Emirates.

"This is the sixth ship smuggling fuel that the Navy (of the Guard) has confiscated," Ozmayi added.

In September, Iran seized a boat and arrested 12 Filipino crew members from an alleged fuel traffic network in the Hormuz Strait, state media reported.

On July 14, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps arrested a "foreign oil tanker,quot; in Gulf waters for alleged fuel smuggling.

Iran also seized another ship on July 31 with seven foreign crew on board for fuel smuggling, but never revealed the identity of the ship or the nationality of its crew.

Tensions have been high in the Gulf this year, after the United States stepped up a declared "maximum pressure,quot; campaign on Iran after its withdrawal from a historic nuclear agreement in 2018.

The climb saw mysteriously attacked ships, drones dropped and tankers seized in the Strait of Hormuz, a choke point for a third of the world's oil.

And on July 19, the guards captured British flag tanker Stena Impero for allegedly hitting a fishing boat and released him two months later.