The Iranian-flagged Lana tanker ship, seized in April by Greece for carrying Iranian oil, is expected to sail to Piraeus port in the coming hours after the vessel’s owner repaid its debts to a towage company, state-run news agency AMNA reported Friday.
The vessel, previously called Pegas and renamed Lana in March, had reported an engine problem in April and was headed to the southern Peloponnese to offload its cargo on to another tanker, but rough seas forced it to moor just off Karystos where it was seized.
The 115,000 dwt tanker was soon released due to complications regarding its ownership but Greek authorities later seized it again, acting on an interim court order over debts to another shipping company, represented by lawyer George Kozanidis.
Speaking to AMNA, Kozanidis and colleague Pinelopi Tekou said the payment owed for towing services was made directly and not in the form of letters of guarantee, so that the ship could set sail immediately.
Meanwhile, in retaliation to Athens’ seizure of the Iranian oil, Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard last month seized two Greek tankers in the Gulf after Tehran warned it would take “punitive action” against Greece. Athens and Iran were currently in talks to resolve the conundrum.
AMNA understands that the vessel still needs to be issued with a new certificate of seaworthiness by the monitoring classification society before it can be released.
Kozanidis declined to disclose the name of the company he represents but told Reuters that the case is related to unpaid towing services.