July 31, 2019
Two vessels carrying Iranian LPG or liquid gas involved in Iran-China deliveries were detained in Singapore on July 22 and 24, a ship-tracking source has told Radio Farda.
The ships belong to Kunlun Shipping, a private Hong Kong company with a fleet of LPG vessels carrying Iranian-sourced cargoes.
The detention of the vessels is related to U.S. sanctions banning export of Iranian oil and gas and a direct result of a court order. However, Radio Farda has learned that the ships are no longer listed in the “vessels under Sheriff’s arrest” section on the website of the Singapore Supreme Court.
The ship-tracking firm Kpler informs that one of the ships, Sea Dragon seems to have been released, as satellite images show it has left Singapore and is sailing back toward the Persian Gulf, carrying its load. The other vessel Gas Infinity is still in port.
Kpler also reports that the arrests seem to have been targeting vessels owned only by Kunlun Shipping as other ships involved in Iranian trade crossed the Singapore strait around the same dates without incident.
LPG carriers loading from Iran often use deceptive techniques to stay “under the radar” by turning off their transponders and indicating misleading destinations to cover their tracks.
Another Kunlun vessel, Gas Dignity has also been carrying Iranian LPG for the past five years, says Kpler and adds that it last emitted a signal seven days ago but is not in the list of arrested vessels.