Statement by the Chief Minister of Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar
In the early hours of this morning, Gibraltar Port and Law Enforcement agencies, assisted by a detachment of Royal Marines, boarded a super tanker carrying crude oil to Syria.
We have detained the vessel and its cargo.
This action arose from information giving the Gibraltar Government reasonable grounds to believe that the vessel, the Grace 1, was acting in breach of European Union sanctions against Syria.
In fact, we have reason to believe that the Grace 1 was carrying its shipment of crude oil to the Banyas Refinery in Syria.
That refinery is the property of an entity that is subject to European Union sanctions against Syria.
Yesterday we published Regulations and a Notice to enforce those sanctions against this vessel and its cargo.
I also gave a Direction requiring the Captain of the Port, assisted by the Royal Gibraltar Police and Her Majesty’s Customs to take control of the Grace 1.
With my consent, our Port and Law Enforcement agencies sought the assistance of the Royal Marines in carrying out this operation.
As the sanctions being enforced are established by the EU, I have written this morning to the Presidents of the European Commission and Council, setting out the details of the sanctions which we have enforced.
I want to thank the brave men and women of the Royal Marines, the Royal Gibraltar Police, Her Majesty's Customs Gibraltar and the Gibraltar Port Authority, for their work in securing the detention of this vessel and its cargo.
Be assured that Gibraltar remains safe, secure and committed to the international, rules-based, legal order.