DFA verifying reported arrest of 12 Filipinos in Strait of Hormuz

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 7)— The government is monitoring developments in the reported arrest of 12 Filipinos in an alleged “fuel smuggling” case in the Strait of Hormuz on Saturday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

Iranian news outlets earlier reported that 12 Filipinos from the crew were detained after the country’s coast guard seized a foreign tugboat and busted a supposed “fuel-smuggling ring” in the strait.

Authorities said the group is suspected of operating a fuel-smuggling ring" and the confiscated shipment was intercepted close to Sirik county. It remains unclear if the detained Filipinos were involved in the smuggling, or just part of the crew.

Aside from the tugboat, reports added that 283,900 litters (75,000 gallons) of petrol worth 233.71 billion rials ($20.2 million) were confiscated.

DFA said it is still checking with the Philippine embassy in Tehran, Iran, regarding this report.

The Strait of Hormuz, located between the countries of Oman and Iran, has been considered as the world’s most important oil chokepoint due to the large volumes of oil that pass through it.

This is a developing story.