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Seafarers group: Tanker off UAE sought by US ‘hijacked’

Jon Gambrell
Associated Press

Dubai, United Arab Emirates – A seafarers organization says an oil tanker sought by the U.S. over allegedly trying to circumvent sanctions on Iran was hijacked July 5 off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.

David Hammond, CEO of the United Kingdom-based group Human Rights at Sea, said he took a witness statement from the captain of the MT Gulf Sky confirming the ship had been hijacked.

Hammond said Wednesday that 26 of the Indian sailors on board had made it back to India, while two remained in “Tehran.”

Hammond said he had no other details on the vessel. TankerTrackers.com, a website tracking the oil trade at sea, said it saw the vessel in satellite photos recently in Iranian waters.

The Emirati government and the U.S. Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet did not immediately respond to requests for comment.