Ukraine seizes ship over 'Crimean call'

Court wants to confiscate Sky Moon over alleged voyage from annexed region.

A Ukrainian court has said it will confiscate a general cargoship that allegedly called in its former territory of Crimea.

The Odessa district court said the 4,100-dwt Sky Moon (built 1977) transported "more than 3,000 tonnes of sodium carbonate from the territory of Crimea, bypassing the Ukrainian customs control", the Itar-Tass news agency cited the southern Ukrainian office of military prosecutors as saying.

It added that the court had "ruled to confiscate the contraband goods worth almost HRK 18.5m ($688,000) to the state revenue. The court also ruled to confiscate the vessel used to commit the unlawful act."

The Tanzanian-flagged ship was held on 30 November by Ukrainian border guards with a crew of nine Syrians, the report said.

It had allegedly left Crimea's Sevastopol to head to Moldova via the Danube river.

Crimea voted to join Russia after its annexation in 2014, but Ukraine still views the region as part of its territory.

AIS data shows the ship was moored in Galati, Romania, on Monday morning.

It is listed as owned by Info Market of Romania, which could not be contacted.