Tuesday, June 21, 2011

More Front Companies for Iranian Shipping Line Targeted

US Treasury Sanctions for 13 Businesses and Individuals
Shipping News Feature

USA / IRAN / UAE/ CHINA / UK / SINGAPORE – After last months imposition of sanctions on companies accused of colluding with Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) the US Treasury has announced ten more companies and three individuals that are to have measures taken against them for allegedly assisting the Iranian company’s operations.

In a statement the US Treasury said that the actions were in response to “…Iran’s continued efforts to evade sanctions and its ongoing creation and use of new front companies, subsidiaries, and affiliates to protect IRISL and to advance its proliferation activities”.

The companies and individuals affected are:

Pacific Shipping DMCEST; UAE

Great Ocean Shipping Services; UAE

Azores Shipping Company LL FZE; UAE

Atlantic Intermodal; UAE

Crystal Shipping FZE; UAE

Pearl Ship Management L.L.C.,; UAE

Sinose Maritime PTE. Ltd.; Singapore

Leading Maritime PTE. Ltd; Singapore

Santex Lines Limited; Shanghai/Shenzhen, China

Fairway Shipping LTD; London, United Kingdom

Mohammad Moghaddami Fard, Director of Oasis Freight Agency and Iran o Hind Shipping

Ahmad Tafazoli, MD of IRISL Marine Services and Engineering Company (IMSENGCO) and General Manager of Santex Lines.

Alireza Ghezel Ayagh, Managing Director for Asia Marine Network and Leading Maritime.

The companies and individuals names are now forbidden from dealing in US currency or with US financial institutions.

“As the private sector around the world increasingly turns its back on Iran’s national shipping line, IRISL’s efforts to evade international sanctions and increased scrutiny have grown more and more desperate,” said Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Director Adam Szubin.

“The persistent attempts by IRISL to deceive the world, including through the front companies identified today, attest to the weakness of IRISL as it tries to maintain a semblance of legitimacy while supporting Iran’s proliferation activities.”

In a related action, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. also announced indictments on eleven corporations and five individuals for their roles in a conspiracy involving IRISL and its affiliates to evade sanctions, in which the defendants repeatedly falsified the records of banks located in New York County to illegally access the U.S. financial system.

Mr. Vance said that:

“Today our office is shining a spotlight on the fraudulent activities of IRISL, which has been sanctioned by the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations for its role in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. IRISL and its sanctioned affiliates used a web of aliases or corporate alter egos across the globe to exploit the services of financial institutions located in Manhattan.”

The charges relate to the alleged processing of more than $60 million worth of payments by companies using aliases or corporate alter egos to hide their links to Iran with assistance from employees at the affected banks and is part of ongoing investigations into the misuse of banks in Manhattan by those seeking to evade sanctions to support terrorism and proliferation. Prior cases have resulted in deferred prosecution agreements with foreign banks, most recently with Barclay’s Bank in the U.K., which last year entered into a deferred prosecution agreement and paid $298 million in fines and forfeiture.