Following the results of laboratory tests, Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar has confirmed that the VLCC, which was detained on 4 July, is carrying a full load of crude oil
In a statement issued on 4 July, the Chief Minister of Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar, Fabian Picardo, said that the Grace I had been detained because there are ‘reasonable grounds’ to believe it was ‘acting in breach of European Union sanctions against Syria’.
The Chief Minister noted that: ‘We have reason to believe that the Grace 1 was carrying its shipment of crude oil to the Banyas Refinery in Syria.
In an official statement issued yesterday (8 July), it was highlighted that: ‘The results of these tests conclusively prove and confirm the information disseminated last week by the Gibraltar Government and contradict the statements of some commentators from outside the jurisdiction who had speculated that the cargo on the vessel was not crude.’
The Grace 1 was detained in Gibraltar when it freely navigated into British Gibraltar Territorial Waters to a point two miles off the Eastside of Gibraltar, having previously exited the international waters of the Straits of Gibraltar, on a pre-arranged call for provisions and spare parts.
The Gibraltar Government statement said that investigations of the Royal Gibraltar Police are continuing, and the vessel remains detained under an Order of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Gibraltar.