Greek Shipper Pleads Guilty to Smuggling Iranian Crude Oil and Will Pay $2.4 Million Fine

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2023-09-07 00:43:58  • 4 mins

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) A Greek shipper has pleaded guilty to a charge over it smuggling sanctioned Iranian crude oil and agreed to pay a $2.4 million fine, U.S. federal court papers seen Thursday by The Associated Press show.

Empire Navigation agreed to be put on corporate probation under the plea agreement, according to the federal court filings.

The charge stems from the saga over the oil tanker Suez Rajan, which has become mired in the wider tensions between the U.S. and the Islamic Republic even as Tehran and Washington work toward a trade of billions of dollars in frozen Iranian assets in South Korea for the release of five Iranian Americans held in Tehran. Iran has been trying to evade sanctions and continue selling its oil abroad, while the U.S. and its allies have been seizing cargoes since 2019 after the countrys nuclear deal allowing the trade collapsed.

The saga over the Suez Rajan began in February 2022, when the group United Against Nuclear Iran said it suspected the tanker carried oil from Irans Khargh Island, its main oil distribution terminal in the Persian Gulf.

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