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UAE seizes two Iraqi boats loaded with oil

Emirati coast guards have seized two Iraqi boats...

ABU DHABI: Emirati coast guards have seized two Iraqi boats outside the Gulf loaded with illegal shipments of oil, state television reported on Thursday.

Abu Dhabi TV said the boats were intercepted off the coast of Fujairah in the Gulf of Oman, but it did not specify their destination nor the date of the interception.

On April 14, an ageing ship bound for Pakistan with an illegal cargo of Iraqi oil sank off Dubai after being intercepted by the US navy and leaked at least 300 tonnes. The oil slick hit neighbouring emirates harder than Dubai.

Following the pollution crisis, the United Arab Emirates said it will crack down on ships breaking UN sanctions imposed on Iraq. Sanctions-busting ships in Emirati waters are to be confiscated and the owner will face penalties.

Port authorities in Dubai on Tuesday stopped a Bolivian-flagged boat loaded with 1,000 tonnes of oil products from taking to sea because of the vessel's poor state of maintenance, Al-Khaleej newspaper said.

The cargo was unloaded and the 32-year-old boat banned from returning to Dubai's ports.