Last week, the UN Panel of Experts on Libya learned that the ship MV Victory RoRo was transporting vehicles in breach of the UN arms embargo. In response, European naval forces assigned to Operation IRINI conducted a boarding inspection of the ship off the coast of Libya.
The ship, flying the flag of Equatorial Guinea, has long been suspected of transferring military equipment to Libya. Under the name MV Luccello, flying the flag of the Comoros, the vessel was identified by the panel as having delivered military vehicles to the country in early March 2022.
A French Navy plane spotted the cargo ship as it crossed the Suez Canal and entered the Mediterranean Sea. The Hellenic Navy frigate HS THEMISTOKLES monitored the ship during its route. Then, the Italian Navy frigate ITS GRECALE took over and conducted the inspection. Both warships are deployed under operational control of Operation IRINI, under EU Naval Force command.
During the inspection, the team identified dozens of military vehicles in violation of the UN arms embargo on Libya. In accordance with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2292 (2016) mandate, Operation IRINI seized the vehicles and is now diverting the ship to a European port for further proceedings.
The inspection of MV Victory RoRo is the 24th boarding by Operation IRINI since its launch in March 2020. IRINI authorize the diversion of ships like this and the seizure of transported arms and arms related materiel.
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