March 6, 2021

Panama had canceled in May the oil tanker flag seized in Gibraltar

The Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) said on Thursday that on May 29 it canceled the flag to the ship "Grace 1", intercepted by the British authorities off the coast of Gibraltar and suspected of carrying oil to Syria in violation of European sanctions.

The institution explained that the "Grace 1" was discharged after receiving an alert from the National Security Council in which it indicated that the vessel "would be participating in the financing of terrorism, in support of the destabilizing activities of some regions led by terrorist groups. "

The Panamanian merchant marine, which accounted for 18% of the world fleet in 2016 and registered more than 8,000 vessels, is the largest in the world and reports direct or indirect revenues of between 125 and 150 million to the public treasury of the Central American country. of dollars per year, according to official data.

It is an open registry, which means that it does not require the owners of the ships to have Panamanian nationality or residence and does not impose any age restrictions on the vessel or tonnage.

"We reiterate our commitment to international agreements by executing the necessary measures against those who are considered a threat to the stability of the region, international peace and security, as well as to the prestige of the Panamanian merchant marine," the authority added. Panamanian

The "Grace 1", 330 meters long, was arrested early Thursday by the authorities of Gibraltar, a British colony located in the southern tip of Spain.

According to the authorities, the vessel carried the crude oil to the Banyas refinery, owned by a Syrian entity subject to European Union sanctions, which were recently extended until June 1, 2010 and include an oil embargo.

The Syrian crisis, which began as a civil war between the government of President Bashar al-Assad and its detractors and became an international conflict, has left more than 350,000 dead, according to data from the Syrian Human Rights Observatory.

The interception of this supertanker was carried out in the waters surrounding Gibraltar, which Spain recognizes as its own, which has generated protests by the Spanish Government.

"We are seeing how it affects our sovereignty to the extent that it has taken place in waters whose sovereignty we understand to be that of Spain," said Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell.

(tagsToTranslate) Panama (t) canceled (t) oil tanker (t) captured (t) Gibraltar

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