Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said its forces have captured a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz for allegedly violating international laws, amid rising tensions in the Gulf.
The Stena Impero tanker "was confiscated by the Revolutionary Guards at the request of Hormozgan Ports and Maritime Organisation when passing through the Strait of Hormuz, for failing to respect international maritime rules", the IRGC's official website Sepahnews announced.
The tanker "was led to the shore and handed over to the organisation to go through the legal procedure and required investigations", it said.
The vessel was seized by "small crafts and a helicopter" at 7:30pm local time (15:00GMT), the owner of the vessel, Stena Bulk, and Northern Marine Management said, adding that they are "presently unable to contact the vessel".
Tanker tracking service Marine Traffic showed that the UK-flagged, Swedish-owned Stena Impero last signalled its location near the Island of Larak in the highly sensitive waterway at 9pm local time (16:30 GMT).
There are 23 crew members on board, the company's statement added.
"We are urgently seeking further information and assessing the situation following reports of an incident in the Gulf," a spokesperson for Britain's Ministry of Defence said.
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