No Gunvor-chartered tankers were detained, said Gunvor
Reuters June 01: China seized a tanker and detained several people last month, including one employee of Swiss trading house Gunvor, as part of a probe into suspected tax evasion on imported oil, Chinese and trading industry officials said. Gunvor confirmed its employee had been detained for questioning without naming him. Gunvor said it has not been notified of a formal arrest or any charges against its employee.
China has stepped up efforts to crack down on fuel smuggling, which has increased after authorities raised consumption taxes on oil products in 2014, creating price gaps between prices abroad and at home. The customs office for Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province in southern China, said in an email to Reuters it had seized a foreign-flagged tanker and detained several individuals. It said it was investigating suspected smuggling of light cycle oil (LCO), a refinery by-product for diesel blending, without identifying the vessel or the individuals.
A senior official at China Changjiang National Shipping Group Corp. said that its vessel, the Hong-Kong-flagged "CSC Friendship", had been held "to help investigations" of Guangzhou customs. Gunvor said it had delivered oil products aboard Friendship into China on May 10-14 but added that "no vessel while under charter by Gunvor has been detained."
Reference: Gunvor Group Ltd is a global commodity trading company registered in Cyprus. The company, which was founded in 2000, is the fourth largest crude oil trader in the world, it was co-founded and controlled by Gennady Timchenko together with Torbjörn Törnqvist, however, due to United States sanctions, Timchenko sold his stake in the company to Törnqvist in March 2014.
As of morning June 01, CSC FRIENDSHIP was anchored off Ulsan, Korea. Tanker was in Guangzhou from May 11 until May 13.
Gunvor Group requested correction of the news on mt CSC FRIENDSHIP detention, stating in letter, that “This is false. No vessel while chartered by Gunvor has been arrested or detained”. Gunvor is referring to Reuters article: http://in.reuters.com/article/china-oil-probe-idINL4N18T1LJ
Gunvor said it had delivered oil products aboard Friendship into China on May 10-14 but added that "no vessel while under charter by Gunvor has been detained."