Russia's 'Dark' Tanker Fleet Risks Washington's Ire as it Steps into the Shadows
Windward, a technology company that uses artificial intelligence to analyze shipping activity, reported an increase in Russian vessels engaging in dark activity. Specifically, there were 50 incidences of dark activity flagged by Russian-flagged crude, chemical and product tankers the week of March 19, 2022. Partner Jonathan Epstein shared his recommendations for companies looking to charter Russian-affiliated vessels with TradeWinds News. Mr. Epstein advises that these companies should vet ownership and AIS information since February 24, 2022.
"And I would expect that in the current environment, OFAC will move expeditiously to sanction tankers believed to be engaged in suspicious activity... Even if Ofac does not designate such vessels as SDNs [specially designated nationals], the US government could do a 'name and shame' in a public announcement as was done in the past, perhaps in conjunction with notifying insurers and flag of registry of the US government concern."
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