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Iranian petrochemical companies dodge international sanctions

Iran, Isfahan Bitumen Production Company, Jey Oil Refining Company, Bitumen, Raj Specialty Chemicals Private Limited, United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh

Economy

Iranian petrochemical companies dodge international sanctions

Dodging sanctions, a number of Iranian petrochemical companies, including Isfahan Bitumen Production Company and Jey Oil Refining Company have been selling bitumen worth hundreds of millions of dollars every year, while organized rackets in the United Arab Emirates that comprises members from Iran [including IRGC members], Hamas, and Hezbollah are coordinating these illegal sales. According to investigative reporters of Blitz, Isfahan Bitumen Production Company is a bitumen manufacturing establishment in Segzi Industrial Area, Isfahan, Iran and office at 1 Azadi Square, Isfahan, Iran, with an annual production capacity of 180,000 tons. The company was established in 1983 and registered by the Iran Patents & Companies Registration Office [Registration number 3950].

On the other hand, Jey Oil Refining Company claims to be a “leading global producer and exporter of bitumen based in Iran” and has officially declared to have sold bitumen worth US$ 650 just in 7 months dodging sanctions imposed by the US.

Chief Executive Officer of Jey Oil Refining Company, Majid A’zami told reporters that his company’s exports have been “unabated over the past one and half years despite American sanctions that have specifically targeted the country’s oil industry”.

He said, over 572,000 tons of bitumen had been exported by the company to 19 countries.

Majid A’zami said, the continued exports had come despite various problems, including the sanctions imposed by the US and months of strikes by tanker drivers last year which affected supply to ports.

Bitumen production at Jey Oil, one of the 10 leading bitumen makers of the world’s and the largest in the region, is centered in its main refining facilities in Isfahan, in central Iran.

It may be mentioned here that, Iranian-made bitumen are being sent to the United Arab Emirates, where organized racket mixes kerosene with bitumen thus greatly compromising its quality. But Iranian manufacturers of bitumen are seeing selling of bitumen by dodging sanctions as one of the key sources of keeping Iran’s economic backbone alive. During the past several months, huge profit generated by selling low-quality bitumen has encouraged the Iranian manufacturers in further expanding their production facilities. According to Majid A’zami, Jey Oil Refining Company is “seeking to set up new production facilities near Bandar Abbas, located on the Persian Gulf, where its massive storage and exports facilities are located.

When asked about his company’s illegal practice of selling bitumen dodging sanctions, A’zami ruled out reports that the bitumen produced by Iranian companies have been smuggled outside of the country to evade sanctions imposed by the US, insisting that the possibility for smuggling bitumen was zero due to harsh legal restrictions that existed for export of the refined product from the country.

According to statistics, Iran exported 2.38 million tons of bitumen worth $561 million during the first eight months of 2018, while the quantity of such illegal smuggling has been on rise.

It was earlier reported in this newspaper that Iranian bitumen is entering various countries including Bangladesh dodging the sanctions, while Iranian flag-carrying ships were also detected unloading bitumen.

According to the report, consignment of bitumen for National Development Engineering Limited arrived in Chittagong Port through Iranian flag-carrier vessel ‘Negar’. The IMO number of this vessel is 9165839. The total capacity of ‘Negar’ is 23 thousand tons.

An Indian trading company named Raj Specialty Chemicals Private Limited is involved in selling Iranian petroleum products including bitumen to various countries, including Bangladesh by dodging international sanctions.

Raj Specialty Chemicals Private Limited was incorporated on May 29, 2008. It is classified as non-government company and is registered with the Registrar of Companies in Chennai, India. Director of the company are Ram Awatar Agarwal, Rakesh Kumar Agarwal and Mamta Agarwal. Its Corporate Identification number is U24110TN2008PTC067966 and its registration number is 67966. Office of this company is located at 74 South Emperor Street, Tuticorin, TN 628001, India.

It is alleged that Raj Specialty Chemicals Private Limited is actively involved in helping Iranian manufacturers in dodging sanctions while it also is involved in helping in laundering of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Contents published under this byline are those created by the news team of WeeklyBlitz

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