Washington, DC (TDN)
Just days after the arrest of Alireza Monfared by Iranian authorities on embezzlement charges surrounding the siphoning of funds from the illegal sale of oil to Iran, prime minister Roosevelt Skerrit accompanied by Lennox Lawrence made a hasty trip to Greece.
Lawrence is Dominica’s non-resident ambassador to Greece and also the man responsible for registering vessels under the country’s flag of convenience protocol. Most of the vessels are registered in Greece but carry the Dominica flag.
In June 2015 a concerned citizen made available to TDN a list of 11 tankers of the ‘Ocean Tankers’ group registered by Dominica but stationed next door to Malaysia in the country of Singapore.
Of significance is the fact that Monfared operated out of Malaysia using the My Dominica Trade House and another company registered simply as ‘Dominica 1’.
When the list of Dominica registered tankers was received the concern revolved around the fact that the tankers were typically around 20 years of age, and all at least were recently purchased second hand.
The vessels along with their International Maritime organization numbers are
Ocean Concord (9052874), Ocean Emerald (9002207), Ocean Gurnard (9123881), Ocean Kite (9129201), Ocean Manta (9123867), Ocean Marlin (9126895), Ocean Moray (9123870) Ocean Osprey (9150652), Ocean Princess (8601496), Ocean Seal (9113094) and Ocean Swift (9129213).
TDN have also been reliably informed that US authorities are investigating the role that these vessels may have played in usurping Iranian sanctions, which did not allow the shipment of goods and especially oil from Iran.
Prime minister Skerrit remains in Greece where in a 1 A.M broadcast from Greece to the people of Dominica he denied recent media reports that a criminal investigation had been launched against him by US authorities.
Meanwhile Opposition Leader in the Dominica parliament Lennox Linton has called on the prime minister to give the people of Dominica the specific reasons for his vist to Greece at this time.