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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Tanker Involved in US Seizure of Iran Oil Cargo Changes Name

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

September 20, 2023

An oil tanker confiscated by the United States for carrying Iranian oil and diverted to the U.S. Gulf Coast, was headed to the Bahamas on Wednesday under a new name, ship tracking data showed.

The tanker Suez Rajan was the subject of attention this year for carrying more than 980,000 barrels of contraband Iranian crude oil, which was confiscated by the U.S. in a sanctions enforcement operation.

It was unable to unload the Iranian crude for nearly two and half months over fears of secondary sanctions on vessels used to unload it. It was renamed the St Nikolas after unloading the cargoes.

The vessel fully unloaded the Iranian crude this month and the Suez Rajan Ltd company pleaded guilty in April. It was sentenced to three years of corporate probation and a fine of almost $2.5 million, according to legal documents.

Empire Navigation continued to operate Suez Rajan under its new name, shipping data showed. The vessel was sailing empty and reported Freeport, Bahamas, as its next destination, according to LSEG ship tracking data.

Infrastructure and logistics provider Buckeye Partners has crude oil terminal storage in Freeport, Bahamas.

Empire Navigation and Buckeye did not immediately respond to requests for comments.

(Reuters - Reporting by Arathy Somasekhar and Jonathan Saul)