A senior IRGC Navy Commander, Ramezan Zirrahi, elaborated on the counter-smuggling operation in an interview with state TV on Sunday, saying the vessel, which was loaded with a diesel fuel cargo, was detected and confiscated 60 miles off the Iranian coasts while it was exiting the country’s territorial waters.
He said the seven crew members of the vessel, who are all foreign nationals, were taken into custody for further legal proceedings.
The IRGC official did not identify the nationalities of the vessel and its crew members.
“Given the strong presence of the IRGC Navy and their good dominance in this field, we hereby announce that there’s no safe haven [in the Persian Gulf] for profiteers, especially traffickers,” said the official, pledging a firm response to any smuggling attempt there.
The elite military force has, on many occasions, seized smugglers in the Persian Gulf or foiled pirate attacks on Iranian and foreign tankers in international waters.
In a similar operation last month, IRGC naval forces seized a ship carrying over 22,000 liters of smuggled fuel out of the country.
The IRGC in June dismantled a large “organized” network smuggling fuel to neighboring countries, arresting all members. The network had been active in eight Iranian provinces.