Crimean Tanker shot at by Libyan Coast Guard anchors off Malta

The incident last week, when the Crimea based Comoros flagged tanker, MT Goeast, was shot at by the Libyan coast guard highlights the severity of illegal, or considered to be, oil cargo’s out of Libya.  It is understood that the vessel after turning off its AIS has re- appeared anchored off Malta.  Having sustained light damage several stories have emerged including the Libyans claiming the oil was illegal and the Russians stating that there was a Swiss credit issue.  Anything other than a legitimate, credit sound payment runs the possibility of being detained, or like in this instance pursued and fired upon.  There have been a number of incidents of vessel detentions, but firing upon merchant vessels is an escalation.  An escalation which could set a new precedent which operators should bear in mind when looking to purchase an oil cargo.

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