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Iran Ship’s Escape Shows Cat-and-Mouse Game of Sanctions - Corruption Currents - WSJ

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A fleeing ship went back on the U.S. blacklist on Friday, proving the difficulty in enforcing some U.S. sanctions.

he MV Amina, an Iranian-flagged cargo ship, was detained by Sri Lanka in December after Germany’s DVB Bank SE obtained a court order to hold the vessel after the owners defaulted on a payment, according to a Reuters report.

Following its detention, the U.S. Treasury Department, which blacklisted the ship in 2008, issued a general license in early January that authorized certain transactions “related to the arrest, detention, and judicial sale” of the MV Amina.

“Such transactions include…bidding on the purchase of the vessel; paying deposits; providing financing, insurance, or funding in connection with the purchase; and, in furtherance of the arrest, detention, and judicial sale of the vessel, providing vessel management services; providing port agency services; purchasing of bunkers; repairing or modifying the vessel for commercial use; providing crewing; and hiring surveyors to inspect the vessel,” the license said.

But the Reuters report said the ship fled, even after the Sri Lankan navy fired warning shots, and that it wasn’t possible to immediately confirm the vessel’s exact location. The report said it was unclear what cargo the vessel carried.

On Friday, the U.S. Treasury Department revoked the license to conduct the transactions.