An international oil trafficking ring is believed to be hiding behind the case of the Eirini 1 oil tanker, which, although banned from sailing from the port of Rhodes island on December 8 last year, “escaped” to Turkey.
According to information seen by Kathimerini, the control report prepared by customs authorities shows strong indications that the ship, before sailing to Rhodes, had loaded oil at the Libyan port of Zuwarah. It is estimated to have approached the Libyan coast between November 22 and 24 during which time the ship had deactivated its automatic identification system (AIS).
The investigation into the shipowner and leasing company of the ship led to a businessman based in Lasithi, who is active, among others, in the wholesale fuel trade.
The tanker sailed to Rhodes on November 30, ostensibly to procure spare parts. However, an inspection revealed that all eight cargo tanks contained more oil than the allowed limit.
The shipping documents presented to the customs inspectors by the captain showed that the oil was loaded near Palma de Mallorca by the ship Anuket Sapphire, which, however, never approached the area of Gibraltar as it operates exclusively in Latin America.