Mapping data shows the ship has sailed a longer route around the southern tip of Africa instead of via Egypt’s Suez Canal [File: Eric Gay/AP]

British Royal Marines and officials in Gibraltar have detained a supertanker suspected of carrying crude oil to Syria, in breach of European Union sanctions, the government of Gibraltar said.

The Grace 1 vessel was halted early on Thursday by Gibraltar police and customs agencies, aided by a detachment of British Royal Marines.

In a statement, the Gibraltar government said it had reasonable grounds to believe that vessel was carrying its shipment of crude oil to the Banyas Refinery in Syria.

“That refinery is the property of an entity that is subject to European Union sanctions against Syria,” Gibraltar’s

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