The oil tanker flying Indian flag accused by the United Nations and the Libyan National Oil Company (NOC) of carrying illegal oil on behalf of the Libyan rival government based in the East has finally returned the shipment to the unity government, Head of the NOC said on Sunday.
“Thanks to the intervention of the international community, Distya Ameya, flying Indian flag which tried to illegally ship Libyan oil, has returned its shipment to Libya,” said Moustafa Sanallah, Head of the NOC based in Tripoli.
The Distya Ameya carrying 650,000 barrels crude on Monday ended its journey in Zewia under the control of the UN-backed unity government led by Faiez Serraj after heading towards Malta. Reports say the shipment was meant for United Arab Emirates.
On Thursday, the UN Security Council upon the demand of the Tripoli-based NOC blacklisted the ship indicating that the oil it carried was illegal and violated the embargo on Libyan oil which has been placed under the tutelage of Libyan unity government.
Unity government’s rival based in Beida and led by al-Thinni is said to be behind the illegal shipping.
NOC, known as the country’s official oil company and which has sided itself with the unity government, pointed out that the return of the oil should be a clear warning to other tankers and companies using other channels other than the national company to ship Libyan oil.
Sanallah also warned that attempt to sell Libyan crude oil by other companies or institutions risk to divide the country.
“I believe in the unity of Libya. As one nation we need to agree that our oil should not be divided at this stage of our political evolution, because this will lead to the country itself being divided,” he said.