Indictment of IRISL

June 21, 2011

On June 20, 2011, the Manhattan District Attorney announced a 317-count indictment (the “Indictment”) of eleven corporations and five individuals for their roles in an alleged conspiracy involving Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (“IRISL”). IRISL and certain related entities were previously listed on the Specially Designated Nationals List (the “SDN List”), meaning that they were banned from transacting business with or through U.S. financial institutions. Such U.S. financial institutions would have detected and blocked any payments to or from those sanctioned entities through their use of sophisticated anti-fraud and anti-money laundering computer systems. The Indictment charges that between September 10, 2008 and January 10, 2011, the defendants engaged in a conspiracy to avoid the consequences of their identification on the SDN List by continuing their access to U.S. financial institutions to conduct business in U.S. dollars.

The Indictment charges that, as part of the conspiracy, IRISL and its sanctioned affiliates sent or received illegal payments through Manhattan banks by using alias names and corporate alter egos in Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. IRISL and its sanctioned affiliates allegedly deceived banks in New York into processing financial transactions that would have otherwise been blocked and seized. The District Attorney’s office has stated that the result of this conspiracy was the falsification of the records of banks located in Manhattan involving over $60 million in illegal payments.

The Defendants named in the Indictment are: IRISL, Hafiz Darya Shipping Lines (a.k.a. HDS Lines), Safiran Payam Darya Shipping Company (a.k.a. Sapid Shipping Co), Asia Marine Network Pte. Ltd. (a.k.a. Asian Perfect Marine Pte. Ltd., a.k.a. IRISL Asia Pte. Ltd.), Sinose Maritime Pte. Ltd., Leading Maritime Pte. Ltd., Oasis Freight Agencies (a.k.a. Oasis Freight Agencies LLC), Great Ocean Shipping Services LLC, Pacific Shipping Company, Irinvestship Ltd., Fairway Shipping Limited, Cheong Kheng Guan, Alireza Ghezelayagh, Moghaddami Fard, Alireza Davoudzadeh, and Mohammad Hadi Pajand.

All of the defendants have been charged with Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree and many of the companies and individuals have also been charged with multiple counts of Falsification of Business Records in the First Degree.

In a coordinated action, the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced on June 20, 2011 that it is adding several co-defendants to the SDN List, including: Sinose Maritime Pte. Ltd., Leading Maritime Pte. Ltd., Great Ocean Shipping Services LLC, Pacific Shipping Company, Fairway Shipping Limited, Alireza Ghezel Ayagh, and Moghaddami Fard.

U.S. sanctions regulations with respect to Iran have serious consequences for both U.S. and non-U.S. businesses. If you have any questions or concerns regarding sanctions regulations, please contact Bruce G. Paulsen (212-574-1533).