Updated May 13 to reflect a Reuters article on one of the vessels mentioned in this report.
A Cypriot firm owned by a Chinese national is part of the broad commercial network involved with Iran’s fleet of oil tankers, according to data reviewed by Levant Networks.
Records from the UN’s International Maritime Organization (IMO) reveal that Avaro Shipping Company Limited is the registered owner of three Iranian-flagged oil tankers, the Clavel (IMO 9820312), Dalia (IMO 9820324), and Petunia (IMO 9820336).
On May 13, reported that the Iran-flagged Clavel vessel has set sail for Venezuela after loading with fuel at the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas.
The tankers were among the 122 vessels sanctioned by the US in November 2018 as property in which the state-owned Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) has interests.
In its press release, the Treasury Department warned that Iran’s shipping industry “is reviving previously employed deceptive practices in an effort to obfuscate” IRISL’s ties to vessels.
IMO records note that the Cyprus-registered Avaro Shipping Company Limited’s address was care-of IRISL’s headquarters in the Aseman Tower in Iran’s capital Tehran. This follows the pattern of other firms from Belize to Germany with affiliations — past and present — to IRISL and the National Iranian Tanker.
Avaro Shipping Company Limited, formed October 2018 in Limassol, Cyprus, was acquired by a Chinese national that same month, according to a share transfer document obtained by Levant Networks.
The document shows that on October 4 all the shares of the company were moved from a Cypriot firm to the Chinese-passport holder, who was identified as an entrepreneur with an address in Shanghai.
Further corporate documents show that a Lebanese national serves as the director of Avaro Shipping Company Limited. The Lebanese person — who provided an address north of Beirut — has had commercial interests in other shipping companies in Cyprus as well as Panama.