Greek authorities confirmed on Tuesday the detention of a 19-year-old aframax as part of European Union sanctions against Russia over the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

The 115,500-dwt Pegas (built 2003) was arrested on the Greek island of Evia on 15 April, Greek coastguard officials told TradeWinds.

The coastguard did not specify the conditions under which the Pegas was detained. Greece’s state-run Athens News Agency reported that the ship had suffered an engine failure and was towed when inclement weather forced it to anchor at the port of Karystos.

Representatives at the Russian embassy in Athens did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a message posted later on its Twitter account, the embassy said “it is checking the information that appeared in the Greek media about the detention of the Pegas oil tanker near the island of Euboea with 19 sailors on board. We are in contact with the Greek authorities on this issue”.

Greek shipping minister Yiannis Plakiotakis is heading the coastguards who moved to arrest a Russian vessel. Photo: European People's Party

Greek media reported that the company’s managers are trying to prove they are not on any sanctions list.

The Russian-flagged Pegas has Russia-based TransMorFlot as its registered owner and technical manager.

Greece is a member of the EU, which has barred Russian vessels from approaching the bloc’s ports.

In OFAC’s sights

The Pegas has also been on the radar of other Western sanctions. As TradeWinds reported on 1 March, the US slapped penalties on the vessel over its ties to PSB Leasing, a subsidiary of sanctioned lender Promsvyazbank (PSB).

US authorities describe state-backed development bank PSB as a military-focused lender.

The ship has undergone several name and registration changes recently.

According to IHS Markit, the vessel was trading as Perun when it was under ownership of PSB Leasing until June 2021.

At that time, the vessel was renamed Pegas and its ownership was passed to Moscow-based entity M Leasing LLC.

Last month, after the US sanctioned the vessel, its name was changed to Lana. Since then, manager TransMorFlot features as the ship’s owner as well.

Nineteen Russian crew members are on board the vessel. Greek coastguards said they were not immediately aware of the condition of the crew.

However, they clarified that the Greek detention applies to the vessel and not to the cargo. Vessel trackers show the ship as laden. It is not immediately clear who owns the cargo and where it is coming from.

Several ships with a Russian background have been detained at EU ports since the country invaded Ukraine on 24 February. At least one of those vessels has managed to get released.