Posted on December 11, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
The Panama-flagged VLCC, SILVANA III fled an inspection by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) during the afternoon of December the 5th, prompting Malaysian authorities to call for the seizure of the offending vessel.
An MMEA maritime patrol originally spotted the VLCC at approximately 1430 hours, anchored some 40 nautical miles off the coast of Kuala Kurau.
Upon conferring with their colleagues in Malaysia’s Navy Department, the MMEA officers onboard the ship received news that the vessel didn’t have permission to anchor in the region.
As a result, they approached the ship, in order to board the vessel and carry out an inspection. However, the Silvana did not lower the gangway and proceeded to sail away from the anchorage.
On December the 9th, the Kuala Kurau Maritime Zone Director, Maritime Commander Mohd Sharenliza bin Ghazali, proceeded to ask local maritime authorities to locate and seize the vessel, as the ship has been found guilty of violating article 491 B (I) of Malaysia’s Merchant Shipping Ordinance.
The Silvana III, which in the past, had been operating under the name Tian Ma Zuo, is one of the tankers to have been affected by the US Department of Treasury sanctions. Its operators, the Chinese State-owned Kunlun Shipping Company, have been found to have been engaging in the knowing transport of Iranian oil products.