TradeWinds: Has Missing 'Ghost Armada' Aframax Tanker Been Spotted Off Iran?


A US anti-nuclear lobby group claims it has located an aframax tanker, which has been missing since early July, off the coast of Iran using satellite imagery. United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), a not-for-profit organisation, said it believes it spotted the 106,000-dwt Winsome (built 2000) as recently as 11 August south of the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas. The group used satellite imagery sourced from the European Space Agency’s Sentinel Hub. TradeWinds earlier reported that the vessel went missing with a China-bound cargo after it loaded at Sohar port in Oman. There have been conflicting reports over the tanker's location. There has been one AIS signal that indicated the vessel is at the Khor Fakkan anchorage, although that has been questioned by experts. In a brief telephone conversation, a representative of ship manager Clara Shipping insisted the vessel remains off Sohar. UANI has been tracking crude and gas condensate exports from Iran. It has been closely watching a total of 127 vessels — which it describes as a “ghost armada” — it suspects are breaking sanctions through involvement with Iranian exports.