US Imposes Sanctions on Ship Captains

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has targeted two captains for assisting in transporting Iranian-linked oil, a departure from usual practice. Captains Vivek Ashok Pandey and Sandeep Singh Choudhary have been blacklisted for their involvement with tankers smuggling oil for Iran. The Treasury has also imposed sanctions on companies linked to these illegal activities as part of a broader crackdown on entities evading Iranian oil sanctions.
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The U.S. Department of the Treasury has added two captains to its blacklist for assisting in the transportation of Iranian-linked oil. This move is unusual as it targets licensed officers rather than shipowners or charterers. One of the captains, Vivek Ashok Pandey, is accused of serving as the master of the tanker Olympics, which operates on behalf of the Sa’id al-Jamal network, smuggling oil for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Another captain, Sandeep Singh Choudhary, master of the tanker La Pearl, has also been blacklisted for delivering a sanctioned cargo off the coast of China.

The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has also imposed sanctions on a number of oil-trading and transport entities connected to the Sa’id al-Jamal network. This includes individuals like Sa’id al-Jamal’s nephew, Abdallah, who is accused of handling money-laundering for the network, as well as companies such as Shark International Shipping and Rayyan Shipping Private Ltd. Additionally, Treasury has sanctioned firms like Lainey Shipping Ltd. and Louis Marine Shipholding for carrying sanctioned Iranian cargoes for Hezbollah, through a front company called Concepto Screen SAL Off-Shore.

The agency’s actions are part of a larger effort to crack down on individuals and entities that help Iran evade sanctions by transporting its oil. By targeting captains and companies involved in these illicit activities, the Treasury aims to disrupt the flow of Iranian-linked oil and dismantle the networks that facilitate its movement.

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