An oil tanker from Russia, dubbed the Lana, with 19 Russian members of its crew on board, is stuck in the waters of Greece after its seizure on 8 April under the sanctions regime imposed by the EU on Moscow over Russia’s attack on Ukraine. New regulations that have been issued on 16 April prohibit Russian-flagged vessels from entering the EU ports.
The Greek Ministry of Maritime Affairs informed BIRN that the Greek Anti-Money Laundering Authority had ordered to seize the oil tanker flying the flag of Russia, off Evia Island. The US along with the EU has imposed sanctions on five ships of Russia, owned by PSB Lizing OOO, a subsidiary of the country’s PSB, the state bank. The Lana was among the ships that have been included in the US sanctions list.
The Lana was en route from Marmara in Turkey. It was expected to reload cargo to another vessel in Kalamata in the Peloponnese peninsula. However, it experienced serious mechanical damage. Hence, it had to be towed by another vessel off Karystos to a safe anchorage. Here, its “connections” and identity with PSB were discovered by Greek authorities.
BIRN has seen documents; however, those reflect that, as of 2 June last year, Lana no longer was part of PSB Leasing but of TransMorFlot LLC. Per Lloyd’s list, the beneficial owner of the Lana is Jamaldin Pashaev, the Russian owner of 17 vessels based in Astrakhan.
A public site that aims to promote maritime quality and safety, Equasis, informed that the Lana has altered its flags, names, and owners multiple times. On 21 April, Reuters reported that the vessel was set to be released as the new registered owner had not been included in sanction lists.
The vessel stays at Karystos owing to mechanical issues. A source who knows the case, but wants to be anonymous, informed the BIRN that its cargo was seized.
The advocacy group named United against Nuclear Iran (UANI) also said that Lana former Pegas had been loaded with almost 700,000 barrels of crude from Sirri Island in Iran on 19 August last year.
The Greek Ministry of Maritime Affairs told BIRN that “the case is closed” while the Greek Anti-Money Laundering Authority refused to comment further on the matter.
In the meantime, Greece with Cyprus, and Malta have raised several concerns over the ban of EU-flagged or EU-controlled oil tankers from shipping Russian oil. A maritime consultancy named Windward Ltd reported that many Russian-flagged ships changed flags in March to avoid the rising sanctions.
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