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UAE oil tanker stopped transmitting its location over two days ago in Strait of Hormuz

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Christian Fernsby ▼ | July 16, 2019
The Riah tanker
Middle East   The Riah tanker was last tracked in the Strait around 11pm on Saturday

An oil tanker belonging to the United Arab Emirates has gone missing while sailing through the Strait of Hormuz, prompting fears it has been seized by Iran.

The Riah tanker was last tracked in the Strait around 11pm on Saturday when it suddenly slowed down and turned to face Iran, before it stopped transmitting data.

US security officials say the crew have failed to make contact ever since and are increasingly convinced the vessel was intercepted by Revolutionary Guards forces.

It comes after Iran tried and failed to stop a British tanker in the Strait, which it had threatened to seize after one of its own vessels was stopped near Gibraltar.

The Riah, a 58-meter (190-foot) oil tanker, typically made trips from Dubai and Sharjah on the UAE's west coast before going through the strait and heading to Fujairah on the UAE's east coast.

However, something happened to the vessel after 11 pm on Saturday, according to tracking data.

Capt. Ranjith Raja of the data firm Refinitiv told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the tanker hadn't switched off its tracking in three months of trips around the UAE.

'That is a red flag,' Raja said.


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