The Indian Captain and three other Indian crew members aboard an Iranian oil supertanker were on Thursday released of all charges by authorities in Gibraltar, even as the US Department of Justice made a last-minute claim on the vessel.
"I am grateful and thankful for my release. And I am grateful to all who have facilitated my release in my legal team," the Indian Captain of the Grace 1 tanker said in a statement.
The arrested crew members – the Master, Chief Officer and two Second Mates – were aboard the Panama-flagged supertanker that was detained off Europa Point in Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory on the Spanish coast, last month.
A spokesman for Gibraltar's government also confirmed that police proceedings against four members of the crew had ended.
The Gibraltar authorities had said the vessel is loaded to capacity with crude oil enroute to Syria, in breach of European Union (EU) sanctions.
"The US Department of Justice has applied to seize the Grace 1 on a number of allegations which are now being considered. The matter will return to the Supreme Court of Gibraltar," said a statement from the government of Gibraltar, in reference to a hearing expected later on Thursday.
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