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VLCC aground in Indonesia blacklisted by US over sanction breaking

Image: Marine Traffic Screenshot Young_Yong_position_Marine_Traffic
The Djibouti-flagged VLCC Young Yong which grounded in Indonesia waters of the Singapore Strait on 26 October has been blacklisted by the US as part of network supporting Iranian oil shipments in breach of sanctions.

The fully-laden Young Yong grounded off Takong Kecil in the Riau Islands, Indonesia in the Singapore Strait at around 2020 hrs on 26 October. 

On 3 November US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated the vessel and its owner Technology Bright as part of an international oil smuggling network that facilitated oil trades and generated revenue for Hizballah and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF).

“The individuals running this illicit network use a web of shell companies and fraudulent tactics including document falsification to obfuscate the origins of Iranian oil, sell it on the international market, and evade sanctions,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. 

It said the VLCC was part of a network of companies and shipping services overseen by Viktor Artemov to receive, conceal, and sell oil.

Marshall Islands registered company Technology Bright owns a single vessel the Young Yong.

“The captain of the oil tanker Young Yong falsified the ship’s location data, and updated Artemov and other Ava Petroleum employees on the ship’s status and its loading of approximately 1.8 million barrels of oil.

“Technology Bright is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Artemov. The Young Yong is being identified as blocked property in which Technology Bright has an interest.”

The move comes as there growing concerns over a dark or shadow fleet of vessels being operated to trade in breach of sanctions could cause a risk to safety in the tanker sector.