Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) continues to circumvent U.S. sanctions by operating via a network of shell companies registered in Hong Kong, an investigation by Radio Free Asia (RFA) revealed on Wednesday.
Using publicly available records, RFA linked Shen Yong, an individual based in Shanghai, China, to 37 companies registered in Hong Kong, most of which are linked in some way to IRISL. The 37 companies “control at least 10 ocean-going container vessels and five oil tankers” between them.
The U.S. government-funded broadcaster had previously used company records to connect Shen to four shipping companies – Reach Shipping Lines, Delight Shipping, Gracious Shipping, and Noble Shipping – registered in Hong Kong and identified as having done business with IRISL. The U.S. State Department on October 19 imposed sanctions on these four companies plus the additional Supreme Shipping for “having knowingly sold, supplied, or transferred to Iran significant goods or services used