2 foreign tankers seized for illegal oil trading


TAIPEI — Two foreign tankers were busted for alleged illegal oil trading some 6 nautical miles off the coast of southern Taiwan’s Chiayi County, the Coast Guard Administration said yesterday.

One of the tankers, registered in the Pacific island nation of Kiribati, was found to be carrying around 4.6 million liters of diesel with a market value of up to NT$100 million (US$3.45 million).

The captains of the Kiribati tanker and the other ship, a Panama-flagged vessel, denied any wrongdoing when they were arrested earlier in the day.

The administration said the two tankers violated marine environmental protection laws, as the oil trading at sea poses an oil-spill threat that could damage the livelihoods of local fishermen.