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Cyprus investigates ‘buyers’ of Libya crude on board tanker

15 March, 2014

The Cyprus authorities are questioning three individuals who allegedly approached the tanker which is suspected of transporting stolen quantities of oil from the rebel-held port of Sidra in Libya, news reports said on Saturday.
The Attorney General of Cyprus and investigators are looking into the activities of the three, who hired a local boat from Larnaca and approached the ‘Morning Glory’ that is lying east off the coast of the island, with the intent of buying the estimated 32,000 tonnes of crude on board.
The Cyprus Foreign Ministry said it received a request by the government of Libya on Tuesday to assist in the return of the stolen amount of oil from the port of Sidra.
The tanker did not request to moor in a Cypriot port and reports earlier on Saturday said it changed its course in a southeasterly direction in international waters.
Meanwhile, North Korea denied any connection to the oil tanker that loaded 25 mln euros worth of crude from Sidra and fled the OPEC member state's attempt to seize it, saying the vessel that carried its flag was linked to an Egyptian firm.
Libya's parliament ousted Prime Minister Ali Zeidan on Tuesday after rebels loaded crude at Es Sider terminal onto the North Korean-flagged tanker that later fled naval forces amid reports of a gunfight as it sailed towards the eastern Mediterranean.
It was not clear what flag the cargo ship was now carrying and its tracking device appeared to be switched off.