Through several of his front companies, Cambis used Iranian funds to purchase oil tankers and disguised the Iranian origin of oil transported on these vessels, the Treasury said.
“Today we are lifting the veil on an intricate Iranian scheme that was designed to evade international oil sanctions,” said Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen. “We will continue to expose deceptive Iranian practices, and to sanction those individuals and entities who participate in these schemes.”
Cambis, President of Impire Shipping Limited (Impire), established his shipping company, as well as several front companies, to purchase oil tankers while disguising the fact that the tankers were being purchased on behalf of the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC), the Treasury said, adding that these front companies were used to obscure the fact that these vessels, which are capable of carrying roughly 200 million dollars worth of oil per shipment, are the property of the Iranian government.
According to the Treasury another front company, Libra Shipping, operates the vessels Cambis and Impire purchased on behalf of NITC with the aim of loading them with Iranian oil supplied by the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), while these operations are conducted through a series of ship-to-ship transfers in an attempt to mask the fact that the true origin of the oil is from Iran and to introduce it into the global market as if it were non-Iranian oil.
The Treasury extended the sanctions to 10 companies in Greece, four in the United Arab Emirates and eight vessels that it said Cambis used to help Iran ship oil abroad.
The Treasury said the four UAE-based firms were Iranian government front companies. The four companies are Sima General Trading, Polinex General Trading, Asia Energy General Trading and Synergy General Trading.
The sanctions ban Americans and U.S. companies from undertaking transactions involving the companies and vessels named.
The development marks the latest in what for more than a year has been an effort by the Obama administration to enforce — a global embargo on Iranian crude oil amid mounting international pressure on Iran’s nuclear program.