Tanker Santa Maria detained for fuel smuggling from Libya, Malta

By Vessels

Armed forces of Malta yesterday stopped MV Santa Maria berthed at Senglea for loading contraband oil from Lybia. The tanker is probably part of bigger smuggling group.

Months of investigation for smuggled fuel to Malta at the end bore fruit. The Rapid Intervention Union and Armed Forces of Malta arrested 28 people from different countries - Malta, Indonesia and Egypt. The tanker MV Santa Maria obviously was under surveillance because at the moment ship berthed the searching for contraband fuel started.

AFM Islander Aircraft on a routine patrol detected the Maltese registered vessel MV 'ALICE' sailing 30NM South of Malta and there was something strange there was suspicious activity of illegal discharge of fuel. The ship was loaded with 80,000ltrs of fuel apparently from Lybia. The intention of MV "Alice" was to transfer fuel to MV Santa Maria.

It was also interesting that crew members did not have identity documents.