Thursday, June 13, 2024

2 Texas Men Sentenced in Scheme to Sell Iranian Oil to China

 2 Texas Men Sentenced in Scheme to Sell Iranian Oil to China

https://www.theepochtimes.com/us/2-texas-men-sentenced-for-conspiracy-to-sell-iranian-oil-to-china-5667528?src_src=uschinanoe&src_cmp=uschina-2024-06-13&est=AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAbOgkZhYcwdLd%2FrYaqmB5DLl7wk9AJCYDuqakhKpFjY2fijshQalp4A%3D%3D 

Two Texas men were sentenced on June 11 to 45 months in prison over a scheme to sell U.S.-sanctioned Iranian petroleum to China, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Wang Zhenyu, 43, a Chinese citizen and permanent U.S. resident, and Daniel Ray Lane, 42, a U.S. citizen from McKinney, Texas, conspired with three others to evade U.S. economic sanctions against Iran from July 2019 to February 2020, the DOJ said in a June 11 statement.

They attempted to buy sanctioned oil from Iran, masked the oil’s origins, and sold it to a refinery in China, according to the DOJ.

“Wang, Lane, and their co-conspirators’ scheme to make millions also would have enriched Iran, one of our government’s foreign adversaries, in direct contravention of measures meant to protect American interests and national security,” U.S. Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania said in a June 11 statement.

Mr. Wang reached out to several parties in China and “brokered a contract of sale” with the refinery, according to the DOJ. He also arranged bribery payments to Chinese officials to facilitate the illegal transaction.

Mr. Lane agreed to help launder the proceeds from the oil sale and “offered to use the mineral rights that he sold through his business, Stack Royalties, to conceal the Iranians’ profits, and even purchased a cash machine to count the millions of dollars of laundered proceeds quickly,” the DOJ stated.

Mr. Lane was president of Stack Royalties, a private firm based in Dallas.

The five conspirators also sought to obtain Antiguan passports to open Swiss bank accounts to launder their proceeds.

They planned to start with a 500,000-barrel shipment of Iranian oil “but intended to increase the shipments to one or two million barrels a month for a year or more,” the DOJ stated.

According to the DOJ, Mr. Wang believed that they could make $1.5 million in profit for every 500,000-barrel shipment.

Mr. Wang and Mr. Lane were convicted for attempting to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), conspiracy to violate IEEPA, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The three co-conspirators were sentenced in January. Nicholas Hovan received a sentence of 12 months plus a day, and Nicholas Fuchs and Robert Thwaites each received 10-month prison sentences.

at the White House in May 2018 that “America will not be held hostage to nuclear blackmail.”
 
In April, President Joe Biden signed the Stop Harboring Iranian Petroleum Act and Iran-China Energy Sanctions Act of 2023 into law as part of a foreign aid package.
 
Iran’s oil exports reportedly grew by about 50 percent in 2023 to a five-year high of roughly 1.29 million barrels per day, with most of the shipments going to China.
 
In this year’s first quarter, Iran exported 141.7 million barrels of oil, a 28 percent increase over the same period in 2023, according to the Washington-based think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
Late last month, Tehran announced that it had approved a plan to increase its oil output to four million barrels per day. Iran is a major crude producer within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
 
China and Iran signed a 25-year cooperation agreement in 2021 to strengthen their economic and political alliance. The two nations agreed to deepen their strategic cooperation in August 2023, following a meeting between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and late Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, on the sidelines of the 15th BRICS summit in Johannesburg.

ABS directory of California tanker / container / ro-ro terminals subject to air emission regulations

 https://static.vesselfinder.net/images/media/2de384d6296300bd7920d2e3c0b44f83.jpg

https://www.tankeroperator.com/ViewNews.aspx?NewsID=14311 

ABS assembles a directory of California terminals required to comply with CARB 2020 At-Berth Regulations.

ABS assembled a directory of California terminals required to comply with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) 2020 At-Berth Regulations. This document is strictly provided as an aid and may not include all relevant facilities or details, and no representations or warranties, whether express or implied are provided. A detailed review of the requirements and compliance options available for ocean-going vessels and additional resources can be found on the page linked below.
 
The information within the directory was compiled as of March 31, 2024.

 

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G7 Leaders Reach Deal to Unlock Frozen Russian Assets for Ukraine

G7 Leaders Reach Deal to Unlock Frozen Russian Assets for Ukraine

https://www.theepochtimes.com/world/g7-leaders-reach-deal-to-unlock-frozen-russian-assets-for-ukraine-5668154 

PUGLIA, Italy—Group of Seven (G7) leaders reached an agreement on June 13 to utilize frozen Russian assets in their continued support of the war in Ukraine.

The G7 will provide Ukraine with a loan using frozen Russian assets as collateral. The total sum is unclear at this time, but the United States has committed $50 billion alone. The risk will be shared among the other G7 nations.

Senior Biden administration officials told reporters that the loan will begin this year, and emphasized that this effectively makes Russia pay for the loan rather than the taxpayers in the United States and G7 countries.

“Russia pays,” said one senior administration official. “The income comes from the interest stream on the immobilized assets, and that’s the only fair way to be repaid. The principle is untouched for now. But we have full optionality to seize the principal later if the political will is there.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in a post on X, had expressed hope that the asset deal would be finalized Thursday.

“The entire Ukrainian people, including our warriors, see that the G7 will always support Ukraine,” he wrote. “I am grateful to our partners for their belief in us and our victory.”

In the run-up to the crucial summit, the G7 finance ministers held discussions about the legality of using some $300 billion worth of frozen assets kept in European accounts as collateral for providing a loan to Ukraine for reconstruction. France was believed to be the main holdout on the plan.

President Biden mentioned before leaving France last week that he had reached an agreement with Mr. Macron on a plan to use the frozen Russian assets.

When asked how the United States was able to overcome concerns about the use of sovereign assets, the senior administration official said they asked, “What’s the alternative” if Ukraine was insufficiently financed?

“What would be the chilling effect it would cause across Europe and the rest of the world,” he asked. “What would be the signal to autocrats that they can redraw borders by force? Those are the costs, I think, we all agreed are unacceptable, and that’s why we acted.”

The senior administration official also said that the funds would be used in multiple ways in Ukraine, including humanitarian support and reconstruction support. However, he also said that there were “certain jurisdictions” that preferred to have their money earmarked for military support.

The agreement was reached a day after the United States announced expanded sanctions on more than 300 entities and individuals designed to “ratchet up the risks that foreign financial institutions take by dealing with Russia’s war economy,” according to national security adviser Jake Sullivan.

Following his meetings with G7 leaders on June 13, President Biden will sign a 10-year bilateral security agreement with Mr. Zelenskyy, signifying a continuing U.S. commitment to support the war-torn country against Russian aggression.

This is the 50th summit meeting of the leaders of the United States, Japan, Germany, the UK, France, Italy, and Canada—the seven most advanced economies in the world—and, along with the war in Ukraine and Russian assets, discussions are also expected to cover the war in Gaza, economic security, AI, migration, climate change, and food security.