Iran’s vessel using a Bolivian flag shipping illegal Syrian oil

It may be coincidence or not, but the references of Syria and Iran with Bolivia, continue to appear, Pagina Siete reports:

2014-05-25 04.24.59 pmThe Government is  determined to remove the right of use of the Bolivian flag to the Iranian ship Amin, that carries at least one million barrels of crude oil to [it should be from] Syria, country which endures international restrictions.

According to United Press News Agency, the Iranian ship is owned by the company Hind, which is sanctioned by the international community. This ship is directed toward the Syrian Port of Tartus, after loading crude oil at the port of Baniyas [Syria], earlier this month.

Carlos Aguirre, head of the unit of registration and security of the navigation of the registration international Bolivian of ships (RIBB), dependent on the Ministry of defence, confirmed such a withdrawal.

“On the ship Amin, we confirmed that (the sanction of the company) and the cancellation of this ship is starting.” “And Yes, the flag is being removed”, reported the official.

Aguirre explained that the withdrew of a Bolivian flag “because it was reported that it could not carry out these activities.” He warned the company and that is why [Bolivia] is canceling out, by having breached [the embargo]”.

Syria can not export oil because of diplomatic and trade restrictions imposed by the United Nations, European Union and United States, but uses generally Iranian boats, with flags from different countries, to circumvent these sanctions.

Iran is one of the most important allies of Syria, that runs through a bloody civil war for months. Its President, Bashar al – Assad, it is accused of war crimes; It is estimated that 9,000 people have died since the start of the revolt.

According to the news agency, the Amin can take up to one million barrels of crude oil and it is presumed he will head for the Gulf, where it could sell oil to the Syrian company Sytrol.

It is the second Iranian ship with Bolivian flag that takes Syrian oil. The first was the Tour that carries 132,277 tons of Syrian crude oil valued at $ 84 million.

The ship was registered in the country once its previous flagship was revoked by the Government of Malta, because the company was accused of violating international sanctions issued against Syria.

Aguirre said that in the case of the Tour boat, “ongoing investigations that the company that owns the ship may have some connection or link with any of the Iranian companies that are blocked through the Organization of the United Nations (UN)”.

If that irregularity is confirmed, the Government would also void that flag.

Los Tiempos reports about 15 vessels that carry a Bolivian flag:

Bolivia could get 15 ships linked to the shipping company Irisl, of the Islamic Republic of Iran of its register of shipping, in compliance with the sanctions of the UN, the European Union and United States, according to the international log of Bolivian vessels (RIBB) dependent on the Ministry of Defence.

According to a report from Dubai published yesterday on the basis of a report from the Reuters Agency, the Irisl company, has numerous subsidiaries and dozens of ships that have fallen under the mantle of the sanctions of United States, the UN and the European Union, for having used their ships to transport military equipment for Tehran.

The head of the registration of Bolivia, Zoilo Roca Kikunaga, said that he was not aware of some of the ships registered in recent weeks were Iranian, but warned that if you have evidence of a violation of the sanctions, Bolivia could remove them from the list.

“Do not have any evidence of these ships to be Iranians”, Roca Kikunaga, director of the RIBB, in an e-mail to the international agency said.

“If any of the ships is violating the sanctions imposed by the UN or another group of countries, their registration will be cancelled”, he added.

Merchant ships need a flag to access most of the ports in the world and many use the insignia of other nations – particularly Panama, Liberia, Bahamas, Malta and Cyprus – for evading the payment of taxes in their countries of origin.

Despite a United Nations resolution for the year 2010 concerning the agreements with the main companies of the Iranian Government, until recently the flags of Malta still waved on the masts of 48 of 144 Irisl vessels identified by the European Union, while the Cypriot colors highlighted in 12.

Malta retired from the list an Iranian ship, the ‘M.T.Tour’, after reports that the ship had been loaded with Syrian oil, sanctioned by the end of March, and threatened to other vessels to remove them from the register if them were violating EU regulations.

Under pressure suffering from Malta and Cyprus that they removed from their records vessels linked to Tehran, in recent months there has been a wave of records in Bolivia, which has no outlet to the sea.

The head of the unit of registration and security of air navigation, Carlos Aguirre Vega, said in past statements, there is no penalty for Bolivia in case of note that such vessels are Iranian. “We are covered in the Convention of the sea, World Heritage site, and is of right to use of all the countries of the world.” “Therefore, we raise the flag to vessels registered in the country,” he added.

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