Rebels in Yemen have stopped two oil tankers from leaving port due to a payment dispute.

According to the AFP, the Singapore-flagged Chao Hu and Hong Ze Hu vessels were stopped from leaving the rebel-held port of Hodeida.

The port is currently controlled by the Houthi movement, a Shia rebel group that has also taken control of Yemen’s capital.

Data seen by the AFP indicates the vessels have been anchored in the Red Sea for at least four months.

Ocean Tankers, the owner of the two vessels, confirmed to Reuters that the vessels were denied authority to leave the port.

“The dispute is nothing to do with Ocean Tankers or our ships and we hope the dispute can be settled quickly,” an Ocean Tankers spokesperson told Reuters.

The vessels are not under arrest, Ocean Tankers added.

The cargos were imported by UK-based CruGas and are owned by Gunvor and Litasco, the trading arm of Russia’s Lukoil.

Sources at the port told Reuters that the incident is related to a payment dispute between CruGas and the Yemen Oil and Gas Company.

According to Reuters, Gunvor filed a lawsuit against CruGas on September 6 in the United Kingdom after the Hong Ze Hu vessel was denied permission to depart.

Gunvor claims it has lost almost $39 million because of the incident, according to documents seen by Reuters.


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