India accused Iran of hijacking Indian suezmax tanker Desh Shanti
Indian crude oil tanker Desh Shanti was reported on Aug 6 13 dumping oil into the sea near Iran waters. On August 15 the story got a new twist, developing into an international scandal. India accused Iran in actually, hijacking Indian suezmax tanker under a pretext of oil pollution. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) detained Desh Shanti in international waters and according to The Times of India, is escorting tanker to Bandar Abbas. As of 01:30 UTC Aug 15 vessel according to AIS, was sailing in Persian Gulf towards Hormuz Strait, off Iran inner waters, abeam of Bandar-e Kangan, Iran, some 300 nautical miles to go to Bandar Abbas. Initially, tanker loaded with Iraq crude oil was en route from Iraq to India.
Indian authorities claim arrest is some kind of political gesture to express Iranian dissatisfaction with Indian recent cut in import of Iranian oil, as a fallout of sanctions imposed by the US and the EU. It’s not clear what happened between Aug 6 and Aug 15, there is no available AIS data on tanker’s movements since Aug 6. Did the tanker load its cargo during this time, or was it under detention since Aug 6?