The Maltese Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that it was delisting a Maltese-flagged, Iranian-owned tanker which was carrying Syrian crude oil in breach of international sanctions.
Reuters reported on Friday that the ‘M.T.Tour’, owned by ISIM Tour Ltd, identified by the U.S. Treasury Department as a sanctions-evading company set up by Iran, was shipping a cargo of Syrian crude to a state-run Chinese company.
The ‘M.T.Tour’ loaded the 120,000 tonne cargo of light crude at the Syrian port of Tartus last weekend, sent by the Iranian authorities after Syria was unable to find another vessel to take the cargo, worth some $84 million to the Syrian government.
The ministry said the Maltese transport authorities took immediate action last week on learning that the Iranian ship flying the Maltese merchant shipping flag was carrying Syrian oil in breach of sanctions.
Any other Maltese-flagged ships found to be breaking the sanctions would also be delisted, it added.
"After the necessary verifications with the owners of the motor tanker 'Tour' and other ships, it was decided that such ships' registration certificates would be suspended immediately and they will be struck off the Maltese merchant shipping register within a month," the ministry said.
"Malta will continue to strictly observe sanctions imposed by the United Nations and the European Union," it added. Malta is an EU member.