Iran Releases Filipino Crew Member From Seized Oil Tanker, ST Nikolas

One of the 18 Filipinos on the tanker dubbed ST Nikolas that was seized by Iranian authorities in January has been released, the Department of Foreign Affairs (abbreviated the DFA) confirmed on Tuesday. DFA’s Undersecretary, Eduardo Jose de Vega, mentioned that the seafarer had been released on 4 February 2024. At the same time, the rest of the crew members continue to be on the vessel.

The others are there out of their will as they’re getting paid double their salary, he mentioned in his text message. What is needed at the hour is for the agency to replace them immediately with the other seafarers. From the recent discussions between the Philippines and Iran, De Vega mentioned that there are no indications regarding the vessel’s release as with the Iranian courts.

Oil Tanker
Representation Image

The freed Filipino national follows the release of a Greek cadet who managed to leave the oil tanker earlier in January. Iran reportedly seized a Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker named ST Nikolas in the waters of the Gulf of Oman on 11 January while the vessel was in transit between Turkey and the port of Basra.

The oil tanker, Suez Rajan, was the centre of attention last year; loaded with 980,000+ barrels of Iran’s crude oil, was detained by the US via a sanction enforcement mission. Earlier reports quoting Iran’s Navy said the seizure was in response to the US confiscation.

The tanker, renamed ST Nicholas, was reportedly detained on 11 January, with a judicial order and in retaliation for Iranian oil theft by the US, Iran’s Fars News Agency wrote earlier, citing a statement via the Navy.

Reference: PNA

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About Author

Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

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