Iran' Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has seized a ship suspected of fuel smuggling and arrested 16 Malaysian crew members, state media reported.

The website of IRIB state television said the IRGC confiscated 1.3 million litres of "smuggled fuel" from the unnamed vessel 15 nautical miles from Abu Musa island.

"The ship's 16 crew who are of Malaysian nationality were arrested," the IRGC's naval commander for the region, Brigadier General Ali Ozmayi, was quoted as saying.

Abu Musa is one of three islands in the southern Gulf that are under Iranian control but claimed by the United Arab Emirates.

"This is the sixth ship smuggling fuel that (the IRGC) navy has confiscated," added Ozmayi.

The escalation saw ships mysteriously attacked, drones downed and oil tankers seized in the Strait of Hormuz - a chokepoint for one-third of the world's seaborne oil.

[Abstract from Original Article on AlJazeera English]