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US acts to seize cargoes on four Venezuela-bound Iranian tankers

Prosecutors have filed a lawsuit and subsequently a warrant has been issued for four Liberia-flagged tankers. Authorities have filed a civil forfeiture lawsuit, a novel means of seeking to seize assets normally used in drugs cases, where the burden is on owners to prove their property was not involved in criminal activity

The four vessels have turned off their identification systems since May and their whereabouts are unknown, but it is unclear how they might be seized unless they enter US territorial waters

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