IRISL : Germany, and Hong Kong.
IRISL has been transferring nominal ownership of the ships to shell companies, mainly in Malta, Germany, and Hong Kong. IRISL already had operations in these locations, making them convenient spots to set up new front companies. IRISL (Malta) Limited, for example, now shares its office space in a low-rise apartment building in the city of Sliema with a host of newly formed companies, including Jackman Shipping Company, Newhaven Shipping Company, Lancing Shipping Company, Oxted Shipping Company, and ten others, each of which is now the new registered owner of an IRISL vessel. The same pattern was followed at IRISL’s German branch. The Hamburg address of IRISL Europe GmbH is now also home to “Seventh Ocean GmbH and Co.,” “Eleventh Ocean GmbH and Co.,” and “Twelfth Ocean GmbH and Co.” These companies are the new owners of the sanctioned vessels formerly known as “Seventh Ocean,” “Eleventh Ocean,” and “Twelfth Ocean,” which have been re-named “Gabion,” “Daffodil,” and “Dandle,” respectively.
Malta among the countries in which Iran is using to set up companies to circumvent current and future embargoes.
Other countries that are mentioned are Cyprus, Hong Kong, Germany and the Isle of Man.
Iran’s state shipping company is carrying out a systematic campaign of deception to protect its international trade from current and future sanctions at the United Nations Security Council.
The Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (Irisl), which has close links with the country’s notorious Revolutionary Guards, is to be singled out in sanctions that are being voted on in the Security Council today.
The organisation’s campaign of deception is outlined in a report released last month by the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control into Irisl’s reconfiguration. The report details at least 80 ships out of a known fleet of 123 that have been renamed in the past two years, with telltale names such as Iran Gilan substituted by innocuous-sounding English titles such as Bluebell and Angel. One was renamed Alias, the report states.
The report named “shell companies” that have been set up in locations from Malta to Germany to run supposedly independent shipping lines.
These secretive shell companies could come under review if a potential embargo is placed against Iran, and Malta-registered entities could be banned under international law. here
The Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), which has as its Mediterranean hub the Malta Freeport, is in the PSI’s sights. With some 150,000 TEUs per annum, IRISL generates more than 10% of the Freeport’s existing business. It is the Middle East’s largest commercial shipping company – and it has set up base in Malta as well.
And the Freeport is certainly a matter of interest for the US. The US Department of State and Department of Defence joint report to Congress, an annual report justifying military grants to Malta, described the Malta Freeport in 2005 as a “potentially serious weapons of mass destruction (WMD) transhipment threat.” It claimed the greatest concern to the US on the Freeport is the potential movement of WMD and missile-systems-related items. “The threat of WMD and dual-use material transhipment through the Maltese Freeport is potentially serious. In 2004, the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) established Freeport as its Mediterranean hub. Also, Malta is close to other states of interest (Libya and Algeria).”
With nearly one-third of all international maritime traffic passing through Maltese waters, the Freeport also serves as a transit link in the flow of goods to and from “sensitive areas” such as Libya, Iran and the Balkans. And although the PSI won’t grant the US a carte blanche to board Maltese-flagged vessels, the target will include transhipment operations for goods destined to the Middle East.
And yet, trafficking in weapons of mass destruction is not the real problem because, except for North Korea, no states are known to have exported WMDs. That’s because nonproliferation is not about intercepting complete weapons systems in transit, but to prevent the shipment of the ingredients to build WMDs. These ingredients – components, technologies, and production materials associated with WMD — are far more elusive because they have civilian as well as military uses and their trade is not illegal. here