Tuesday, September 26, 2023

US says it disrupts illicit oil shipment by Iran’s IRGC, seizes contraband crude.

HOUSTON, Sept 8 (Reuters) – The U.S. on Friday divulged it disrupted in April a multimillion-dollar shipment of crude oil by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, seizing more than 980,000 barrels of contraband crude oil that violated U.S. sanctions.

In April, Reuters reported that the U.S. confiscated cargo onboard tanker Suez Rajan, which was carrying Iranian oil at sea. The U.S. statement on Friday confirmed and fleshed out details of the story which cited sources.

The “illicit sale and transport of Iranian oil” violated sanctions targeting Iran, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a statement that for the first time acknowledged its role. A plea agreement between the parties was made public this week.

The vessel was unloaded last month after waiting 2-1/2 months off the coast of Texas to discharge.

The Suez Rajan Ltd company pleaded guilty in April and was sentenced by to three years of corporate probation and a fine of almost $2.5 million, according to legal documents.

Empire Navigation, the operating company of the vessel carrying the contraband cargo, agreed to cooperate and transport the Iranian oil to the United States, the DOJ added, calling it the first criminal resolution to such a sanctions-violating sale. …