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Gibraltar police release all crew members of detained Iranian tanker

File Photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jul 13, 2019, 09.15 AM (IST)

All four crew members of the Iranian Grace 1 tanker were released on bail without any charge by Gibraltar police, news agency Reuters reported on Saturday. They were detained last week on suspicion of breaking European sanctions by taking oil to Syria.

Gibraltar police said earlier on Friday that they had arrested the two-second mates from the tanker, a day after the vessel’s captain and chief officer were arrested.

In a statement, the police said all four crew members were granted bail with conditions. It did not elaborate but said the investigation was ongoing and that the Grace 1 continues to be detained.

The Grace 1 was seized by British Royal Marines off the coast of Gibraltar on suspicion of violating sanctions against Syria.

The vessel contained 2.1 million barrels of light crude oil, Picardo said.

Iran has demanded that Britain release the ship and denies that it was taking oil to Syria in violation of sanctions. The affair has led to an increase in tension in the Gulf, with Britain saying on Thursday that it fended off Iranian ships that tried to block a British tanker.

Tehran blames the United States for arranging to have its ship seized. 

Washington has imposed sanctions against Iran with the aim of halting all Iranian oil exports. European countries do not have sanctions against Iran, but have had them in place against Iran's ally Syria since 2011.

(With inputs from agencies)

Story highlights

Gibraltar police said earlier on Friday that they had arrested the two-second mates from the tanker, a day after the vessel’s captain and chief officer were arrested.