Albania has seized an oil tanker carrying 22,500 tonnes of oil suspected of coming from Russia and arrested the crew for breaching a Western embargo, Albanian police said on Feb. 20.

The Liberian-registered oil and chemical tanker was seized in the coastal town of Durres.

"From the first steps of investigation it is suspected that this oil shipment is coming from countries under an oil embargo, especially from Russia," police said in the statement.

"The tanker departed from Azerbaijan and was allegedly loaded with oil at Greece's Kalamata port, from another tanker with the amount of 22,500 tonnes of diesel fuel."

Albania was one of the first countries to introduce sanctions on Russia a year ago when Moscow launched attacks on Ukraine.

Albanian police said that during the operation codenamed Embargo it arrested all 22 crew members for further investigation.

On Feb. 10, Spain's northeastern Tarragona port refused entry to the Singapore-flagged Maersk Magellan after its cargo of oil products was found to have previously been carried by a vessel that was formerly Russian flagged.