The Washington Post: Smuggled Iranian fuel and secret nighttime transfers: Seafarers recount how it’s done

By Katie McQue January 3, 2022 at 4:01 p.m. EST

DUBAI — The secret transfers usually take place at night to evade detection by regional coast guards. The ships anchor in the Persian Gulf just outside the territorial limits of the United Arab Emirates, and then, individually, small boats carrying smuggled Iranian diesel shift their loads to the waiting vessels, according to seafarers who have witnessed the trade.

“It is a big chain, with fishing boats sailing up to give diesel to a waiting tanker. It takes four to five days because boats come one by one,” said a 27-year-old Indian seafarer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals. He said he had been employed by a Dubai-based shipping company that smuggled Iranian fuel to Somalia.

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