Regulatory intelligence for US exporters

OFAC Sanctions Ship, Ship Owner Involved in Iran-China Trade

The Office of Foreign Assets Control last week sanctioned Marshall Islands-registered shipping company Vishnu Inc. and its ship, the Lady Sofia, for their involvement in illegally shipping Iranian commodities to China. OFAC said the vessel recently transferred cargo while at sea to another sanctioned ship, the Mehle, which is currently traveling to China with the Iranian goods.

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The agency said the two ships conducted the ship-to-ship transfer near Singapore on Jan. 31, where the Mehle manipulated its automatic identification system to incorrectly show that it was in the South China Sea. OFAC also said the Mehle is disguising itself as a “fictitious vessel” called the Amor.

The U.S. sanctioned the Mehle and its Hong Kong-based owner, Cielo Marine Ltd., in January (see 2401120015). OFAC said they ship Iranian goods on behalf of a financial facilitation network for the Yemen-based Houthi rebels.