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Philtex Corporation

Philtex Corporation

Industry: 
Shipping
States: 
TX
Country: 
UAE
Contact Information: 
Sources: 

"Philtex will in the near future, no longer be Zanzibar’s agent for registering international ships, the Minister for Infrastructure and Communication, Mr Rashid Seif Suleiman informed the House of Representatives. 'We are now in the process of breaking the contract with Philtex. Soon the company will no longer be our registrar for international ships,' said Rashid when responding to furious backbenchers who demanded to know how the government has been benefiting from Philtex. He said that Philtex’s unconvincing deals of registering Iranian tankers contrary to the EU/US led sanctions on Iran’s contested nuclear programme. PHILTEX Corporation Ltd is a United Arab Emirates company in Dubai – Deira, belonging to Ship Management & Registration industry. The minister said: 'We signed an agreement with Philtex in 2007, registering about 406 ships. But 60 ships have cancelled their registration with Zanzibar, 159 ships sold and we have deregistered 33 Iranian Oil tankers.' He said Zanzibar has 179 ships in its register ‘honestly’ paying annual fee to the Zanzibar Maritime Authority (ZMA), USD 150 for ships with tonnage not less than 459 and 10,000 tones paying USD 1,200. Last Thursday the Zanzibar Maritime Authority (ZMA) Director, Mr Abdi Maalim, said that in response to recent allegations that some Iranian tankers have been detected using Tanzanian identification codes, Zanzibar has asked all port authorities around the world to take stern measures against them. It has been reported that despite Zanzibar deregistering the tankers, at least three ships owned by the NITC have started emitting a wireless number starting with ‘677?’ the country code signalling a Tanzanian flag, according to shipping databases Marine Traffic and Fleetmon.The code can be used, for example, to give a distress signal. The vessels are also using a call sign – a unique identifier given by flag registration authorities – with a prefix that corresponds to the African country. 'I have written to our main urgent in Dubai ‘Philtex’ asking to be watchful. We have also sent letters containing the identification of all Iranian tankers of which we broke the contract with to some international ports so that they help us control misuse of our identity,' said Maalim. He said that his office has also written a letter of complaint to the Iran authorities in a bid to make sure that their ships do not use Tanzania flags or signal code. 'We are very concerned because it was Zanzibar which registered the ships,' he added." (Daily News, "Iranian Tankers Scandal: Isles to End Philtex Deal," 8/4/2013)

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"In response to recent fresh allegations that some Iranian tankers have been detected using Tanzanian identification codes, Zanzibar has asked all port authorities around the world to take stern measures against them. The Zanzibar Maritime Authority (ZMA) Director, Mr Abdi Maalim, said that what the Iranian tankers are doing is unacceptable . . . 'I have written to our main urgent in Dubai 'Philtex' asking to be watchful.'" (Daily News, "Zanzibar Raises Alarm Over Deregistered Iranian Tankers," 8/1/13)

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"The New York-based watchdog organisation United Against Nuclear Iran said 32 tankers of the blacklisted NITC, which owns the vessels that were deregistered last year, were still signalling the Tanzanian flag. The organisation played a key role in exposing links between Tanzania’s flag and Iran’s tankers, which the government had initially denied. It conceded only after evidence showed that Iran secured the cover through Zanzibar, which had contracted Philtex of Dubai to oversee its ship registration services. The incident triggered mounting international pressure for Tanzania to be penalised. Reflagging ships masks their ownership, which makes it easier for Iran to avoid attracting attention from the US and EU, which have embargoed its crude oil exports." (The Citizen, "Tanzania Probing Ship Flag Scandal," 7/27/2013)

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"'We are particularly concerned with the role that a US-based company, Philtex, seems to be playing in this flagging. As the agent of the Tanzania Zanzibar ship registry, it seems that Philtex is continuously granting Tanzanian flagging rights to the NITC’s newest and most capable super tankers, in violation of US sanctions,' UANI official Nathan Carleton told The Citizen on Sunday. Philtex was contracted by Zanzibar to oversee its ship registration services. After the flagging saga, the authorities said they had terminated the agreement. The Forbes report said the company officials claim Philtex was 'still managing the Tanzania Zanzibar shipping registry.'" (The Citizen, "Revealed: Iranian Ships Still Flying Tanzania Flag," 7/22/2013)

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"'Unfortunately, this sanctions fraud is perpetrated, at least in part, within the jurisdiction of the Emirate of Fujairah and its important port/bunkering hub, and with the assistance of a Dubai/United States-based criminal enterprise, Philtex Corporation (‘Philtex’), and its affiliate the American Register of Shipping (‘ARS’) that appears to predominantly operate in the Philippines,' UANI said." (The Washington Free Beacon, "A Well-Oiled Smuggling Machine," 4/17/2013) 

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""Iranian oil tankers are sending incorrect satellite signals that confuse global tracking systems and appear to conceal voyages made by other ships to Syria, which, like Iran, is subject to international sanctions. The two countries are close allies and have helped each other deal with shortages by swapping badly needed fuels such as gasoline for diesel... Iranian state tanker company NITC has already changed many tanker names as part of its response to sanctions, though shipping experts say such a tactic would not confuse anyone in the business about a vessel's whereabouts. Now tanker tracking data monitored by Reuters and shipping specialists have highlighted a more subtle twist. Large vessels must transmit their identity and location to other ships and coastal authorities using an automatic satellite communication system, but in the last month Iranian vessels sailing in Asian seas have sent signals that took over the identity of other vessels, so the same ship appeared to be in two places at once. 'It is of course possible to manipulate or falsify information in these messages,' said Richard Hurley, a senior analyst at IHS Fairplay, a maritime intelligence publisher. At least three Iranian oil tankers are transmitting such false signals, effectively taking over the identity of Syrian-owned vessels travelling between Syria, Libya and Turkey. All the vessels in question were registered in Tanzania... Despite all the paired vessels appearing to be registered under Tanzanian flags, officials in mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar denied holding any information on the vessels. They have directed queries to a shipping agency in Dubai, Philtex Corporation, which they say registered some Iranian ships under the Tanzanian flag without their knowledge. Philtex confirmed it had registered the Syrian-owned Lady Rasha, but could not provide details on the Iranian tankers in question... 'We have no idea and we cannot justify why they are emitting the same satellite signals,' said Jocelyn Acosta, director of operations at registering agency Philtex Corporation. Acosta said Philtex cooperated with requests made by United States government agencies and others to identify a ship's owner and had deregistered a number of vessels accordingly." (Reuters, "Exclusive: Iran shipping signals conceal Syria ship movement," 12/6/12)

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"Tanzania intends to cancel its contract with a Dubai-based shipping agent, saying the company reflagged Iranian ships with the Tanzanian flag without its knowledge, a minister for the semi-autonomous Zanzibar government said on Friday. The east African country said it was in the process of de-registering 36 Iranian vessels after an investigation into the origin of the ships concluded they were from Iran. As a semi-autonomous region, Zanzibar has the authority to register ships -- and has its own contract with Philtex Corporation -- which then fly the Tanzanian flag. Suleiman said Tanzanian Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda on Thursday informed the union's Parliament about Zanzibar's decision to terminate its contract with Philtex. U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday urged the U.S. government to take action against Tanzania for flouting sanctions against Iran, putting further pressure on the Tanzanian government to cease oil-related dealings with Tehran . . . Rashid Seif Suleiman, infrastructure and communication minister from Zanzibar, said his government would act to cancel its contract with Philtex that serves as the island's sole agent for the registration of ships.'We are de-registering the Iran ships first, then we will move to terminate our contract with Philtex,' Suleiman told Reuters by phone from Zanzibar. Reflagging ships masks their ownership, which could make it easier for Iran to obtain insurance and financing for the cargoes, as well as find buyers for the shipments without attracting attention from the United States and European Union. 'Philtex has had a valid 10-year contract with the Zanzibar government...my ministry is working with the Attorney General's Chambers in Zanzibar to look at all the legal implications,' Suleiman said. Philtex could not be reached for comment." (Reuters "Tanzania to drop agent over Iran ship reflagging," 8/17/12)

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