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Iranian tanker Baikal under investigation, entangled in flags, names and cargoes



Loaded Iranian tanker Baikal stays off Syros, Greece, as a company which is to receive cargo, Sekavin SA, is investigating the origin of the cargo, suspecting it to be banned Iranian oil. Tanker arrived to Syros on Nov 26. NITC is saying the company is owned by Iranian pension funds, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The 27-nation EU barred imports of Iran’s oil and refined products in July. The EU and U.S. have intensified sanctions, saying the country’s nuclear program is aimed at producing weapons, a charge Iran has denied.
Tanker’s history of flags and names is already a maze htough tanker is 4-years old – bearing original name of Iran Salar, vessel was renamed Sima and then Blossom. Vessel was registered under at least three flags, including Malta, Tuvalu and presently, Tanzania, though Tanzania claimed it didn’t register Iranian tankers and 14 tankers are mistakenly signaling themselves as Tanzania-flagged. The new name of the tanker is very interesting, it’s a name of famous Russian lake, with two Russian tankers having the word “Baikal” in their names – Sovcomflot’ “SCF Baikal” and PRISCO’s “Zaliv Baikal”, both being modern aframaxes. It seems like NITC is trying to puzzle the world not only with flags and owners, but with names as well, making them sound like Russian or some other nations’ well-known names and words.
Suezmax crude oil tanker Baikal IMO 9357353, dwt 164154, built 2008, flag Tanzania, owner NITC, Tehran (AIS shows owner as a Blossom Shipping Co).




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