Albania Seizes Liberia-Registered Ship Carrying Suspected Russian Oil

The Liberian-registered Grace Felix, seized in Durres, carrying suspected Russian oil. Photo: Albanian State Police

Albanian police on Monday seized a Liberian-registered ship carrying some 22,500 tons of petroleum near Durres and arrested the crew, suspecting the oil is from Russia.

By Geri Emiri

Albanian police in the coastal town of Durres on Monday along with other law enforcement agencies blocked a Liberian-registered ship carrying suspected Russian oil in an operation that ended with the arrest of the 22-strong crew, the authorities said.

The 22,500 tons of oil seized has a market value of more than 40 million euros.

“The ship started its travel from Azerbaijan and claimed to have been supplied with oil in Kalamata, Greece, from another ship,” police said.

The alibi wasn’t enough to convince Albanian authorities who believe the oil originated in Russia. Albania has backed Western and EU sanctions against Russia imposed over its war against Ukraine.

This was not the first attempt at trafficking petroleum products in Albania. During the last few years several ships attempted to bring Libyan oil to Albania.

In September last year the Albanian Coast Guard seized a tanker, Queen Majeda, with some 2,275 tons of oil on board. It had been supplied in Benghazi, Libya, an area not under the control of the internationally recognized government of Libya.

Source: Balkan Insight