Malta-Bound Ship Accused of Smuggling

A Panamanian-registered cargo vessel, The Levante, has been arrested off the Libyan coast on suspicion of smuggling fuel from Libya to Malta.  and now being held in Tripoli.

According to Navy spokesman Captain Ayyub Umru Kassim, the ship was discovered to be carrying 400 tonnes of contraband diesel fuel aboard and was heading to Valletta.

At Libyan petrol stations, the pump price for 400 tonnes of diesel would be around LD 60,000 (€36,000) -- in Malta it could earn around €620,000.

According to a report from Libya Herald, the crew of seven Egyptians are being held with the boat in Tripoli, along with a Maltese national also found aboard. Some reports state he was a passenger, others that he was involved in the alleged smuggling.

This is the second vessel to be arrested in just under a fortnight on suspicion of smuggling fuel to Malta; on 25th March, an Egyptian vessel, the Fahd Al-Islam, was stopped, again off Zuara.

(Source: Libya Herald)

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