| 24 February 2024, Saturday |

Russian oil tanker hit by US sanctions heading to Malaysia

According to shipping data released on Monday, a Russian-flagged ship suspected of carrying Iranian oil is on route to Malaysia, despite increased scrutiny of Russian-linked enterprises following the invasion of Ukraine.

According to data from ship tracking website, the Linda, a crude oil tanker listed in a US Treasury document detailing sanctions against Russia, was in the Indian Ocean and was anticipated to arrive at Sungai Linggi port on Malaysia’s west coast on Sunday.

It remained unclear whether Malaysian authorities intend to allow the ship to anchor. Requests for comment to the country’s maritime department and foreign ministry went unanswered.

Linda was transporting Iranian oil transferred from another ship at sea on January 30, according to US advocacy group United Against a Nuclear Iran (UANI), which monitors Iran-related tanker traffic using ship and satellite tracking.

According to satellite data, the vessel loaded crude oil from an Iranian port 10 days before to the transfer to Linda, according to UANI’s chief of staff Claire Jungman.

The information could not be independently verified by Reuters.

The oil’s final destination remained unknown, although Jungman speculated that it could be moved to another ship off the coasts of Malaysia or Singapore.

Linda is owned by PSB Leasing, a unit of Russian lender Promsvyazbank, which is also subject to international penalties, according to the US.

PSB Leasing did not own Linda, according to Promsvyazbank, which added that the vessel was redeemed by its owner in April 2021. The bank did reveal the identity of the owner.

On Saturday, French officials confiscated another ship, the Baltic Leader, which they claimed belonged to PSB Leasing.

Similarly, Promsvyazbank has disputed that its affiliate owns the ship.

  • Reuters