U.S. Treasury Sanctions Two More Iran-Linked Tankers

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Published Mar 26, 2024 9:24 PM by The Maritime Executive

The U.S. Treasury has sanctioned two tankers that were used by a facilitator of the Iranian black-market oil trade, the Yemeni financier and broker Sa’id al-Jamal. 

al-Jamal has been on Treasury's blacklist since June 2021 for helping move oil and money for the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps-Quds Force. The Quds Force is the IRGC's covert-action arm and supports Iran's foreign proxies; it is both a division of the Iranian military and a U.S.-designated terrorist organization.

According to the Treasury, Liberia-based holding company Hassaleh International worked with Sa'id al-Jamal to ship Iranian oil to Chinese buyers. Hassaleh is the registered owner of the Dawn II (ex name Spar), a Panama-flagged VLCC.

al-Jamal also allegedly chartered the Palau-flagged tanker Abyss, owned by Vietnamese firm Quoc Viet Marine Transport JSC and operated by Indian company Melody Shipmanagement Pvt Ltd. The tanker, owner and operator have all been placed on the sanctions blacklist. 

Abyss was the tanker that offloaded 500,000 barrels of disguised Iranian fuel oil to a European-operated storage tanker in February 2023, resulting in the seizure of the cargo by U.S. authorities. 

Dawn II is currently operating in the Black Sea, just off the Russian oil loading port of Novorossiysk. Like many dark fleet tankers serving Iran, she has also called in Venezuela and in Russia, which also face U.S. sanctions on their oil products.

Abyss is northbound in the Arabian Sea and declaring her destination as Basrah, Iraq.