• 2021 January 20 16:42

    U.S. blacklists oil tankers for undermining Venezuela sanctions

    The United States on Tuesday sanctioned a network of oil trading firms, individuals and vessels that have helped Venezuelan state-run oil company PDVSA sell crude mainly to Asia despite Washington’s sanctions on the South American nation. The measure targets a network that the U.S. Treasury Department says helped the administration of President Nicolas Maduro, whose 2018 re-election Washington called a sham, broker the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars in Venezuelan oil.

    “Those facilitating the illegitimate Maduro regime’s attempts to circumvent United States sanctions contribute to the corruption that consumes Venezuela,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a news release. The Treasury said its Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, targeted three individuals, 14 entities and six vessels for their ties to a network attempting to evade U.S. sanctions on Venezuela’s oil sector. It said the “principal actors” were Alessandro Bazzoni, Francisco D’Agostino and Philipp Apikian, as well as oil trading firms including Elemento Ltd and Swissoil Trading SA.

    Washington first imposed sanctions on PDVSA limiting its oil sales in early 2019, which cut off its main destination for exports, the United States. The measure was followed last year by sanctions on two units of PDVSA’s main trading partner, Russia’s Rosneft, as well as shipping sanctions blacklisting tankers involved in the transportation. The U.S. FBI started probing Elemento and Swissoil last year, along with Mexico-based Libre Abordo and Schlager Business Group, aiming to gather information for Treasury’s inquiry into possible sanctions-busting. Libre Abordo, Schlager and Mexican citizens Joaquin Leal Jimenez, Olga Maria Zepeda and Veronica Esparza, were sanctioned in June.

    Venezuela’s foreign ministry in a statement called the move “a new, desperate aggression against the Venezuelan people by the outgoing government of (U.S. President) Donald Trump.” “Despite these four years of sustained and ruthless aggressions, despite the indolence and disregard for international law, the Venezuelan people and their revolutionary government are still standing today,” the ministry said.

    Libre Abordo, Schlager and Elemento did not immediately reply to requests for comment. Reuters could not immediately reach Swissoil, Bazzoni, Apikian, D’Agostino, Leal, Zepeda or Esparza. Tuesday’s move expands on the sanctions on the Mexico-based individuals and businesses for “operating a sanctions-evasion scheme benefiting the illegitimate Maduro regime and PDVSA.”

    “Today’s action targets additional orchestrators and facilitators with ties to the Mexico network who have conspired with Maduro’s oil minister, Tareck El Aissami Maddah, and indicted money launderer Alex Nain Saab Moran to broker the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars of Venezuelan oil,” the Treasury said. El Aissami and Saab are also under U.S. sanctions. Saab was arrested last year in Cape Verde. The United States accuses Bazzoni and D’Agostino of being “core facilitators” of the network, connecting Swissoil, led by Apikian, and Elemento with PDVSA and Saab.

    “Following Saab’s June 2020 arrest in Cape Verde and OFAC’s designation of Leal, Bazzoni took over the core coordinating role in the ongoing scheme to broker the re-sale of Venezuelan-origin crude oil from PDVSA and charter vessels willing to go to Venezuela to load oil,” the Treasury added. The OFAC is also this time blacklisting Ukraine-based Fides Ship Management and its tanker fleet including vessels Baliar, Balita, Domani and Freedom, as well as tankers Maximo Gorki, owned by Venezuela’s water authority INEA, and Sierra, owned by Russian firm Rustanker. The blacklisted vessels have transported Venezuelan crude since sanctions were imposed on PDVSA in 2019, according to company data and Refinitiv Eikon vessel tracking data. INEA did not immediately reply to a request for comment. Reuters could not immediately reach Fides Ship Management or Rustanker.




2021 February 27

14:23 All sectors of activity impacted at Lerwick Harbour in 2020
13:48 JAXPORT unveils new Strategic Master Plan during 2021 State of the Port address
13:07 PSA & CDAS partner up to launch SmartBooking
12:32 NOAA begins transition exclusively to electronic navigation charts
11:43 USCG announces formal investigation into Coastal Reign capsizing
10:56 False allegation of attack 17nm west of Okwori terminal

2021 February 26

18:14 CADMATIC issued a certificate to ASCO's SRI Caspian Sea Project
17:56 Fincantieri and OCCAR to sign the contract for the construction of 2 new-generation submarines
17:38 IBIA announces the result of 2021 board elections
17:16 LNG-powered short-sea vessel Containerships Borealis makes first call to the port of Rotterdam
16:53 Volga Shipping Company opens river navigation season in the South of Russia
16:31 Port of Melbourne awards rail infrastructure contracts
16:25 ABS publishes guidance on methanol as marine fuel
16:05 Port of Corpus Christi and Port of Rotterdam sign MoU
15:48 Container giant MSC to open new depot in North Sea Port
15:05 Rosmorport announces changing of Dickson seaport boundaries
14:43 Corvette Stoyky and tanker Kola of RF Navy's Baltic Fleet started anti-piracy watch in the Gulf of Aden
14:19 PortNews offers new edition of its Hydrotechnika magazine
13:30 New edition of PortNews magazine is available now
12:14 CMA CGM to dedicate six new LNG-powered vessels to U.S. services
11:42 CPC system to transport 67.5 mln tons of crude oil in 2021
11:18 MPA awards LNG bunker supplier licence to Total Marine Fuels Private Limited
11:04 Wärtsilä and Ocean Technologies Group partner to deliver transformational learning solutions to improve safety and efficiency at sea
10:45 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Feb 26, 2021
10:39 Car carrier Orca Ace earns ClassNK's 1st remote survey notation
10:36 Port of Baku Director General held online meeting with members of American-Azerbaijani Chamber of Commerce
10:14 Port of Gdynia welcomes largest single delivery of wind turbine propeller blades in Polish history
09:51 Bunker prices continue rising at the Port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
09:32 Oil prices decrease amid dollar rise
09:18 Baltic Dry Index as of February 26

2021 February 25

20:19 Bunker Weekly Outlook, Week 08, 2021
18:37 Port of Oakland boss appointed CAPA Vice President
18:07 Port of Los Angeles announces launch of new ‘Control Tower’ data tool for tracking cargo
17:53 Admiral Nevelskoy ferry leaves Saint-Petersburg for Sakhalin
17:49 BPA reports lowest passenger numbers in 60 years
17:42 Finnlines Plc issues its Financial Statements 2020 and Financial Review for 2020
17:34 Cutting restrictive trade policies could boost global economic recovery from COVID-19 by 3.4%
17:31 ECSA: European shipping is central to the success of EU's new trade strategy
17:20 APM Terminals Algeciras reaches all employees with a safety campaign
16:58 Tallink Grupp reports net loss of EUR 108.3 million for pandemic year 2020
16:41 Terms of references for Klaipeda Seaport's Southern part development to be prepared by American specialists
16:19 BPO’s comprehensive ports report published today
16:15 Hiab to supply MV Commercial with 100 HIAB loader cranes
15:45 Rolls-Royce secures UK MOD funding for innovative technology to support naval autonomy
14:50 Consequences of COVID pandemic affect the Port of Hamburg’s 2020 throughput
14:25 Bunker prices are slightly up at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
13:13 Nevsky Shipyard delivers Pola Gali, yet another ship of Project RSD59
13:07 DNV GL joins smart maritime network to enhance industry cooperation on digitalization
12:10 ClassNK grants its first remote survey notation for PCC ORCA ACE
11:32 NOVATEK and Shenergy Group sign SPA for LNG from Arctic LNG 2
11:04 “K”Line commences technical management of Singapore’s first LNG bunkering vessel “FUELNG BELLINA”
10:33 Telemar wins 50-vessel service and maintenance contract with Fairplay Towage group
10:21 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Feb 25, 2021
10:13 BC Ferries releases its third quarter results
09:59 CMA CGM implements FAK rates from the Mediterranean, Adriatic, North Africa & Black Sea to the Indian Subcontinent
09:50 BC Ferries' fifth battery hybrid-electric vessel launched
09:28 Oil market sees mixed price movements
09:12 Baltic Dry Index as of February 24

2021 February 24

18:06 Parkwind selects DEME Offshore for foundation EPCI contract at Arcadis Ost I
17:47 Ministry of Transport of Dagestan looks into organizing sea cruise tourism in Caspian Sea