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US Sanctions Firms in Singapore, Malaysia Over Iran Petrol Links – Bloomberg

Nov. 5 is the day when sweeping U.S. sanctions on Iran’s energy and banking sectors go back into effect after Trump’s decision in May to walk away from the six-nation deal with Iran that suspended them.

A gas flame burns from a pipe close to an offshore oil platform in the Persian Gulf's Salman Oil Field, operated by the National Iranian Offshore Oil Co., near Lavan island, Iran, on Thursday, Jan. 5. 2017.
A gas flame burns from a pipe close to an offshore oil platform in the Persian Gulf’s Salman Oil Field, operated by the National Iranian Offshore Oil Co., near Lavan island, Iran, on Thursday, Jan. 5. 2017. (Ali Mohammadi/Bloomberg)

Philip J. Heijmans, Bloomberg News

EnergiesNet.com 02 13 2023

The US sanctioned three firms in Singapore and Malaysia for their roles in allegedly facilitating the sale and shipment of millions of dollars worth of petroleum and petrochemicals on behalf of a company with known connections to Iran.

Singapore is an important hub for the oil and gas trade and from time to time, reports have surfaced of local companies helping countries like Iran and Russia evade US sanctions. The latest move comes as demand for oil storage tanks has soared in the city-state, in a sign that a flood of Russian fuel is being blended and re-exported globally.

“Iran increasingly turning to buyers in East Asia to sell its petrochemical and petroleum products, in violation of U.S. sanctions,” Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said in a statement. “The United States remains focused on targeting Tehran’s sources of illicit revenue, and will continue to enforce its sanctions against those who wittingly facilitate this trade.”

Asia Fuel Pte. and Unicious Energy Pte., both Singapore based, and Sense Shipping and Trading Sdn. of Malaysia are accused of doing business with Triliance Petrochemical Co. Ltd., which was sanctioned in 2020 for facilitating the sale of Iranian petroleum products from the National Iranian Oil Company. The three firms are among nine entities the US said played a role in the production, sale, and shipment of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Iranian petrochemicals and petroleum to buyers in Asia.

Asia Fuel allegedly facilitated the shipment of petroleum products to customers in East Asia since late 2021 and arranged to pay storage fees on behalf of Triliance to house petroleum products in a Malaysia-based floating storage vessel. 

Unicious is accused of “coordinating millions of dollars in petroleum-related payments for other companies within the network and aiding Triliance.” The US said Sense Shipping is a “front company for Triliance.” Unicious didn’t respond to calls and emails requesting comment. Asia Fuel and Sense Shipping couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Earlier this month a Singapore trading company and its director were among several entities sanctioned by the US over their involvement in a Russian sanctions evasion network that sold helicopters to a Latin American government on behalf of a Russian state-owned firm.

–With assistance from Selina Xu, Low De Wei and Ravil Shirodkar.

bloomberg.com 02 10 2023

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