(New York, N.Y.) — In a significant development, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) has exposed fraudulent activities within the Guyana Maritime Administration (MARAD) involving over a dozen tankers with Iranian connections. UANI's rigorous investigation has led MARAD to acknowledge that these vessels were illegitimately registered to fly the Guyanese flag, a malpractice conducted by a formerly contracted entity, the International Maritime Safety Agency of Guyana (IMSAG).

In a joint statement, UANI’s CEO Ambassador Mark D. Wallace and Chief of Staff and Director of Tanker Tracking Claire Jungman said: 

The fraudulent registrations uncovered by UANI’s efforts highlight Iran’s continued exploitation of international systems to support its nefarious activities. We commend MARAD for their immediate response to our findings.”

Following UANI’s revelations, Gale Green, Guyana’s registrar of ships, confirmed that the implicated vessels were not legally registered under the Guyanese flag. IMSAG, despite having its contract terminated in August 2021, unlawfully engaged in these registrations. This incident brings to light the vulnerabilities within global shipping registries that rogue regimes exploit to evade sanctions.

Similarly, the situation in Eswatini involves unauthorized use of the national flag, misleadingly referred to as the Swaziland flag, which is no longer in official use following the country's name change in 2018. 

These situations not only cast a spotlight on the misuse of national flags but also underscore the pervasive issue of 'flag of convenience' abuses, which Iran routinely exploits to mask its illicit oil shipments. This is particularly concerning given Iran's reliance on such tactics to sustain its economy amidst U.S. sanctions.

These incidents underscore the persistent challenges within the maritime industry in verifying the authenticity of ship registrations—an essential component of international trade and security. They also highlight Iran's ongoing attempts to evade sanctions. UANI’s Ghost Armada resource is not merely a campaign to expose such fraudulent registrations; it serves as a critical resource for the maritime industry to verify if a vessel has been suspected of being involved in transporting Iranian oil and the status of its ship registration. UANI updates this list monthly and strongly encourages all flag states to routinely check this list. This practice will help confirm whether vessels suspected of involvement in the illicit transfer of Iranian oil are attempting to register under their flags, ensuring compliance with international laws and bolstering global maritime security.

To read UANI’s The Ghost Armada resource, please click here