Letfallah II: Tartous, Syria ship, rebel arms?

Capt. Mohamad Kharaji, owner, general manager, Parent of  shipowner, Khafaji Shipping Co. S.A., Tegucigalpa Honduras

A small ship managed by manager ISM GROUP LTD, Tartous, Syria was intercepted with three containers filled with weapons "destined for Syrian rebels"on board. "Letfallah II", a Sierra Leone-flagged ship was intercepted two nights ago by teams from the Beirut Navy off the Lebanon's northern coast, according to classified information obtained from sources within Lebanon's security forces. The ship is said to have been carrying machine-guns, rocket and grenade launchers, shells, missiles and explosives. After initially docking at the port of Selaata, around 50 kilometres north of Beirut, the Letfallah raised anchor again this morning and, with a huge escort, headed for an undisclosed destination. The ship had set sail from Libya and after a stopover in Alexandria, was heading for the southern Lebanese port of Tyre, where it had been authorised to dock. 

Name: Letfallah Ii
IMO: 7126114
Flag: Sierra Leone
MMSI: 667005115
Callsign: 9LD2415
Former name(s):
- Ezzat Allah (Until 2003 Jun 12)
- Donna Khadijeh (Until 2003 May 04)
- Stevnsland (Until 2001 Nov 22)
- Oslobank (Until 1990 Nov 25)
- Ostebank (Until 1983 Jun 15)
- Scol Action (Until 1975 Dec 09)
- Ostebank (Until 1973 Dec 31)

 manager ISM GROUP LTD, Tartous, Syria. 

Sierra Leone Registry,   Awarded ISO 9001 2008 Certification No Size Restrictions,  Flexibility, Crew Nationality, Parallel Registration, Mortgage, Fees and Superior Customer Service


U.S. Philippine Marines practice oil rig assault

On April 21,  commando teams rappelled from U.S. helicopters and landed from rubber boats in a mock assault to retake an oil rig in northern Palawan, 18 km (11 miles) off the town of El Nido on the South China Sea. The annual war games come under the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty, part of a web of security alliances the United States built in the Asia-Pacific region during the Cold War.
On April 26, It is reported that the State Oceanic Administration agreed in principle to the Marine and Fishery Department of Hainan sea on the the Xisha Jinqing Island [The Paracel Islands, also called Xisha Islands (西沙群岛) in Chinese] supply base terminal project audit. The project intends to use the sea area of ​​5,000 acres, by a private enterprise investment in construction, which can supply protection for the South China Sea, tourism and fisheries development. Integrated supply base for the South China Sea Pier project is demonstrated.

Proven and undiscovered oil reserve estimates in the South China Sea range as high as 213 billion barrels of oil, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in a 2008 report. That would surpass every country's proven oil reserves except Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, according to the BP Statistical Review.
HAI YANG SHI YOU 981 drilling rig


Atlantic Cruiser: no arms, tip was phony

After several days of inspections, Turkish authorities have informed government officials in Berlin that the German freight ship Atlantic Cruiser, is not carrying weapons bound for Syria after all. The ship's cargo is legal, and its loading papers have been correctly presented, officials say.
[April 19]According to the manifesto, with explosives for civil use has some equipment for thermal power plant project. 
Iskenderun Customs Directorate of ship load list (manifesto) offered. According to this list on the ship, brought to the importing company in Turkey, six 313 tons of explosives to be used for civilian purposes.   "As of this morning for being late to the load control officials came to the hatch covers were opened and began investigations.. We shall see the result of the coming days.''
 At the time the captain conducted the ship's transit through the Suez Canal and later at a planned fuel-tanking stop in Cyprus, he claimed he had been transporting cargo with the hazardous goods classes "UN 0105, 0030, 0029 and 0065," abbreviations for explosives and electrical equipment including detonators. After the contents of the cargo were revealed, a Cypriot firm refused to provide fuel for the ship. The ship was not allowed to enter into Cyprus "because of the embargo on munitions being sent to Syria."    The Ukrainian firm chartering the ship claims it contains "dangerous cargo," including munitions. However, the company claims they are intended for Turkey and Montenegro and not Syria.   The ship waited for a full day and a half off the coast of Syria before heading in the direction of Turkey under the flag of Antigua and Barbuda Spiegel

[April 18]Turkish special police officers of the customs narcotic and smuggling department board the ship Atlantic Cruiser, sailing under the colours of Antigua and Barbuda, in the port of Iskenderun, April 18, 2012.    Earlier, In he harbor. Iskenderun Customs Enforcement Directorate teams, marine police, ship agency officials and a delegation of lawyers, journalists, some agencies with two separate boat reached the ship. the committee, the first naval vessel out of the health team, has made ​​health checks. Then the other members and journalists were aboard. Officials engaged in conversation with the captain of the ship and cargo control documents, investigations found. Meanwhile, journalists, waited in the dining hall. The team's front control of the ship, and among them are four different load explosives and ammunition were found there. The officials, pointing to the ship carries dangerous goods according to the rules of maritime 'red flag' pulled. A description of the amount and type of explosives-munitions were made. Review the delegation, ship officials talks journalists were not allowed to shoot photos and video. Customs Enforcement officials after the completion of investigations of the vessel in Iskenderun Port yanaştırılıp, said there would be a detailed examination.
Alexander Varvarenko,
Werner Bockstiegel 

[April 16]Bockstiegel acknowledged that “the crew only has access to the container stacked at the top  This was being inspected and appeared to consist of wires and cables
Containers were loaded on the ship in Mumbai, India and it was destined for Syria, Turkey and Montenegro. Five containers were off-loaded at Djibouti

According to the shipping firm’s documents, the equipment bound for Syria consisted of parts for a thermal power station.

Reader conmment: What do you think the transponder of the ship was turned off for three days? "Construction products for Syria" LOL! In midst of a huge destruction event?

Atlantic Cruiser allegedly picked up heavy military equipment and munitions meant for Syrian dictator Bashar Assad's regime from an Iranian freighter at the Djibouti port. But defectors from inside the Syrian government had learned of the delivery and warned the shipping company. On April 13 the Atlantic Cruiser suddenly changed course, heading for the Turkish harbor of Iskenderun instead. Then the ship stopped some 80 kilometers (50 miles) southwest of Tartus, sailing in circles for the next few hours. The ship had been chartered by an Odessa, Ukraine-based company called White Whale Shipping via shipping agent Hamburg-based C.E.G. Bulk Chartering. The government established contact with C.E.G. and W. Bockstiegel Reederei, the German shipping company that owns the Atlantic Cruiser. "According to information from the shipping company, there is no intention of continuing on to Syria," However, it appears the captain was instead prompted to turn off the ship's transponder so that the Atlantic Cruiser's location could no longer be traced. For 24 hours, the ship could no longer be tracked as it traveled on the high seas. It will also be difficult to determine what happened on the ship during that time. The same applies toApril 15 night, when the transponder was yet again turned off. What has been happening on the ship since then? The shipping company has said off the record that it is normal for the transponder to shut down as soon as the freighter ship stops moving. But ship brokers claim the move is extremely unusual. Experts said that even when a freight ship is at port or in open seas, the transponder is usually in operation, making it possible to track the vessel's whereabouts. Because the ship is registered in Antigua and Barbuda and is flying the country's flag, the German government is limited in terms of what it can do to investigate. here


Leila: RO/RO Released

Somali pirates have released the Panama-flagged, UAE-owned Roll-on/ Roll-off (RO/RO) vessel MV LEILA.. No details on whether a ransom was paid.

“[February 20]A group of pirates hijacked a new vessel this week. The pirates contacted their friends in the Ceel-Dhanaae area after they had hijacked the vessel.

the vessel has not yet arrived at the Somali coast, now in Yemeni waters operating as a mother ship.

Hijackings of Ro/Ro vessels are extremely rare, as the vessels' high freeboards (the distance from the water line to the deck) prevent pirates from easily boarding them.

MV Leila's last known position was at 16.47 N-056.15E, the eastern entrance to the Gulf of Aden, on a course of 260 at 4 Knots, according to MSCHOA.
Leila 7302794 LEILA HOBF Ro-Ro 1357 1973
Class society: International Register Of Shipping
Build year: 1973
Builder*: Ateliers & Chantiers Du Havre
Le Havre, France Owner: New Port Cargo & Shipping
Dubai, United Arab Emirates Manager: New Port Cargo & Shipping
Dubai, United Arab Emirates Name: Leila IMO: 7302794 Flag: Panama MMSI: 352723000 Callsign: HOBF
Former name(s):
- Hana Ii (Until 2005 May 18)
- Contender (Until 2002 Jun 27)
- Indiana I (Until 1990 Sep 10)
- Indiana (Until 1988 Jul 03)
- Ferruccio (Until 1986 Jul 13)
- Antinea (Until 1982 Dec 14)
The 1973 built rust-bucket is apparently in a very bad shape too and the condition of vessel and crew are deteriorating. [2010]


Enterprise: largest US Navy ship to Gulf

The U.S. Navy said April 9, it has deployed a second aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf region amid rising tensions with Iran over its nuclear program. The deployment of the nuclear-powered USS Enterprise [CVN 65] along the Abraham Lincoln [CVN 72] carrier strike group marks only the fourth time in the past decade that the Navy has had two aircraft carriers operating at the same time in the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea, It is the final deployment for the Enterprise, which is currently with the U.S. Navy’s 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation as an ongoing rotation of U.S. Forces supporting maritime security operations in international waters around the world. The Enterprise Carrier Strike Group consists of about 5,500 sailors and marines. The Enterprise was commissioned in November 1961. The carrier is scheduled to be deactivated this fall. Enterprise is the oldest and largest active combat vessel in the Navy.
April 8, 2012 aboard USS Makin Island LHD-8, Wasp-class amphibious assault ship, The purpose/mission of Makin Island is to embark, deploy, and land elements of a Marine landing force in an Amphibious Assault by helicopters, landing craft, and amphibious vehicles. Now in Fifth Fleet area with 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit

Noble Discoverer: injunction issues against Greenpeace

On March 28 Judge Sharon Gleason in the federal District Court in Alaska issued a preliminary injunction banning activist organization Greenpeace from occupying any of a list of 19 vessels that Shell plans to use for exploratory drilling in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas during this year’s open water season. The list of vessels includes the drillship Noble Discover, the floating drilling platform the Kulluk, anchor handlers, icebreakers and oil spill response vessels, with the ban continuing until Oct. 31and applying while the vessels are in U.S. waters and ports.
In February Shell asked the District Court to issue a restraining order against Greenpeace, which has already protested against the company’s Arctic drilling plans by occupying the Noble Discoverer in New Zealand and by occupying two icebreakers in Finland that had been contracted for Shell’s operations. Gleason responded by issuing a temporary restraining order, banning Greenpeace from trespassing on Shell’s drilling vessels. The injunction issued March 28 supersedes that restraining order.
Among the claims still to be ruled on is a question of District Court jurisdiction over activities in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, or EEZ, where Shell will be drilling, as distinct from U.S. territorial waters and harbors. Gleason says that the court will rule on this question before Shell’s vessels start to operate in the EEZ. Similarly the court will rule in due course on a question of court jurisdiction over activities at aviation facilities in the northern Alaska town of Barrow, where Shell will presumably base the aviation operations in support of its drilling fleet.
The decision to move forward on oil drilling in the Beaufort Sea, which would occur just north of the western edge of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), comes shortly after the Obama Administration also opened up drilling in the Arctic’s Chukchi Sea, allowing oil exploitation in the Arctic for the first time since the 1990s.
Spokesperson for Royal Dutch Shell, Kelly op de Weegh, dubbed the approval, “another major milestone achieved.”

Greenpeace activists who illegally boarded the drill ship Noble Discoverer at Port Taranaki have again had their day in court postponed.

The eight, which includes actress Lucy Lawless who was charged under her married name Lucy Tapert, each face one charge of burglary were remanded to reappear in the New Plymouth District Court on April 18.

None of the accused appeared in the New Plymouth District Court today.

Those charged are: Tapert aka Lawless, Llai Amir, 25 (Israel, living in Auckland), Jan Raoni Hammer, 30 (Christchurch), Zachary Steven Penman, 21 (Auckland), Vivienne Rachael Hadlow, 28 (United Kingdom, living in Auckland), Shayne Panayiotis Comino, 33 (Australia, living in Christchurch), Michael Ross Buchanan, 28, Christchurch, Shai Sebastian Naides, 28 (Israel, living in Wellington).


XIANG HUA MEN hijacked off Iran 'rescued'

The 28-strong crew of a Chinese cargo ship seized by pirates in the Gulf of Oman off Iran's coast have been rescued, China's state media say, citing the nation's embassy in Tehran: 

Soon after the hijacked ship was approached by two Iranian navy ships and pirates were asked to surrender, the 9 pirates aboard threw their weapons over board.

.April 6, Beijing, China Maritime Search and Rescue Center received a report, Panama flag bulk carriers XIANG HUA  MEN was hijacked in the Gulf of Oman, by pirates  unknown number. The site of the incident in the naval convoy outside the region of about 1,000 nautical miles

China's maritime search and rescue center immediately launched the emergency plan to combat piracy and armed robbery against ships cooperation agreement information sharing center, the International Maritime Organization, the Asian region, the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting center, Iran's maritime search and rescue agencies informed. The relevant domestic departments and embassies in relevant countries are multi-channel to carry out rescue work.   It is understood that, "XIANG HUA MEN round total tonnage of 15,709, the captain 181.5 meters, 23.05 meters wide ship this voyage half load (load of steel, equipment), sailing from Shanghai to Iran BIK Hong Kong.   Iranian naval vessels in the 0.5 nautical miles long and XIANG HUA MEN "ship to get in touch to confirm that the vessel had been hijacked by pirates.   Ministry of Transport once again reminded the shipping enterprises and their ship, the crew risk awareness, and to further strengthen the self-anti-self-help measures. [google translation, some correction]
A Chinese cargo ship has been hijacked by pirates in the Gulf of Oman. Xinhua news agency said the vessel was attacked this morning near the Iranian port of Chabahar. The Chinese embassy in Iran has initiated an "emergency" operation aimed at rescuing the ship and crew. It offered no other details including the nationality of the hijackers. According to China Radio International, the vessel, the Xiang-huamen, was sailing with a crew of 28.

XIANG HUA MEN BV Panama 15709/7459 20358 9.84 181.50*23.05*13.40 TWEENDECKER GERMANY 1987
Ship Type: Cargo
Year Built: 1987
Length x Breadth: 181 m X 23 m
Gross Tonnage: 13688, DeadWeight: 18160 t
Speed recorded (Max / Average): 12 / 11.3 knots
Flag: Panama [PA] 
Call Sign: 3FUI8
IMO: 8707331, MMSI: 354563000
 Thor Navigator (Until 2011 May 18)
- Century Fortuna (Until 2003 Mar 31)
- Elpis (Until 2000 Jun 11)
- Thraki Hellas (Until 1999 Jun 03)
- King Lion (Until 1995 Apr 01)
- Hanuman (Until 1994 Dec 01)
- Boka (Until 1992 Dec 30)

XIANG HUA - (IMO 9109873)
XIANG HUAN - (IMO 8415005)
XIANG HONG - (IMO 8715833)

Nanjing Ocean Shipping Co.,Ltd.

    Nanjing Ocean Shipping Co., Ltd. (NASCO) was established on Sep 28, 1988 and restructured in 1994. Since its inception,she has developed gradually to become a comprehensive ocean shipping company with a full range of services in ocean shipping, such as ship owning, operating, ship management, international shipping agency, manning services, ,ocean ship engineering as well as ship supply and the shipping investment consultancy. Its liner and tramping vessels cover the trading areas in Asia, Europe, America and Africa.


Eglantine: stormed and released by Iranian Navy

Eglantine, ex- Iran Gilan

IRANIAN commandos reportedly stormed the bulker that had been hijacked by pirates off the Maldives.    MV Eglantine was seized over 2,000km away from the pirate hotspot of Somalia.   Indian and Maldivian Navies are shadowing MV Eglantine the hijacked Iranian-owned Bolivian-flagged cargo ship drifting in the Indian Ocean. The ship was seized by Somali pirates late on 26 March 2012 off Hoarafushi Island in the Maldives. The ship is loaded with Brazilian sugar for Iran and was making passage to the Bandar Imam Khomeini port in Iran

Eglantine (IMO 9193202) appears on the U.S. Treasury's SDN list:

[March 26,]Bolivian-flagged, Iranian-owned bulk ship, MV EGLANTINE, was attacked and hijacked in position 07:00 N - 069:49 E, approximately 460nm west south west of  Cape Comorin early this morning. There are 23 crew members on board.

The incident took place at approximately 03:30 UTC and the ship was last located stationary in position 07:13N - 069:47E at 07:00 UTC.  Listed by the British government in 2011 as an entity of potential concern for WMD-related procurement

Ship Type: Bulk carrier
Year Built: 2000
Length x Breadth: 225 m X 32 m
Gross Tonnage: 39424, DeadWeight: 63400 t
Speed recorded (Max / Average): 12.2 / 11.5 knots
Flag: Bolivia [BO] 
Call Sign: CPC825
IMO: 9193202, MMSI: 720813000
Ex Names History
Vessel's Name Flag Call Sign Last Reported
EGLANTINE Bolivia CPC825 2012-03-19 11:24
EGLANTINE Cyprus 5BGK3 2012-02-27 16:14
BLUEBELL Malta 9HBI8 2011-01-21 20:32
IRAN GILAN Malta 9HBI8 2009-11-14 19:37

Added to the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list maintained by the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on June 16, 2010, freezing its assets under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibiting transactions with U.S. parties, pursuant to Executive Order 13382, which targets proliferators of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their delivery systems; designated for being a front company for Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL - see separate entity record) that was "aiding IRISL in evading sanctions," according to the U.S. Treasury Department; "assumed IRISL's ship management functions in the wake of sanctions against IRISL," according to the U.S. Treasury Department, and "shares corporate officers with IRISL"; listed by the European Union on July 26, 2010 as an entity linked to Iran's proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities or Iran's development of nuclear weapon delivery systems; with some exceptions, European Union member states must freeze all funds and economic resources owned, held or controlled by the listed entity, and prevent funds or economic resources from being made available to it; sanctioned by the governments of Canada, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Norway, and Switzerland, restricting business and financial transactions with the entity and/or freezing its assets in those countries; listed by the British government in 2011 as an entity of potential concern for WMD-related procurement.

Now operating under the name Rahbaran Omid Darya Ship Management Co., while retaining its original IMO number (5466371) and continuing to manage the same fleet of ships.

Shares an address with the following companies:

Uppercourt Shipping Co.
Vobster Shipping Co.
Lancelin Shipping
Midhurst Shipping Co. Ltd.
Oxted Shipping Co. Ltd.
Sackville Holdings Ltd.
Top Glacier Co. Ltd.
Smart Day Holdings Ltd.
System Wise Ltd.
Trade Treasure Ltd.
Concept Giant Ltd.
Gomshall Shipping Co. Ltd.
Great Method Ltd.
Jackman Shipping Co. Ltd.
Alpha Effort Ltd.
Shere Shipping Co.
Tongham Shipping Co.
True Honour Holdings Ltd.
KMD Shipping Lines;

Ship manager and/or ISM manager of the following vessels that appear on the U.S. Treasury's SDN list:
Eglantine (IMO 9193202)

Tour: Iranians ship $84 million of Syrian oil to China

Reacting to a report that a Maltese-flagged tanker is providing a lifeline to the regime of Bashar al-Assad by shipping Iranian oil to China, in violation of EU sanctions, the foreign and transport ministries said they took immediate action last week as soon as it became known that some Malta-registered Iranian vessels could be involved in the transport of oil from Syria in breach of sanctions.
Following the necessary verifications with the owners of the vessels, including the MT Tour, a decision was taken to immediately suspend the ships’ registration certificates and strike them off the register within a month.

[April 1]Maltese-flagged tanker Tour reached the Syrian port of Tartus at the weekend, where it loaded the 120,000 metric tonne (132,277 tons) cargo of light crude oil.
The vessel was last spotted near Port Said in Egypt, where is was due to arrive on April 4. Its final destination was not available but "I was asked to provide an option to ship to southern China or Singapore," the Chinese buyer as Zhuhai Zhenrong Corp, a state-run company hit by U.S. sanctions in January.  Syria, a relatively modest oil exporter, has been able to sell its crude into Europe, its traditional destination until September last year when European Union and U.S. sanctions halted exports.
The crude oil cargo, worth around $84 million assuming a discounted price of about $100 a barrel, could provide Assad with much-needed funds after another round of sanctions designed to further isolate the country's ailing economy were imposed by the European Union last week.   Syria planned to sell oil directly to the Chinese but had trouble finding a vessel. The Iranians, however, had stepped in to lend a helping hand through one of its Malta-based companies, which sent one of its ships to collect and deliver the cargo.    ISIM Tour Limited, which is also registered in Malta and has been identified by the US Department of Treasury as a front company set up by Iran to evade sanctions.    Malta was ready to de-register the entire Iranian fleet flying under the Maltese flag, perhaps even before the expiry of an EU clause honouring IRISL contracts until November 2013, after a possible review along such lines.

“We’re moving in that direction,” , with the reservation that Iran should not simply be allowed to relocate its ships to other European countries. “We believe that all services to IRISL should be prohibited,” Dr Borg said. “We are ready to make that sacrifice, provided that all countries also make the sacrifice. Otherwise it would be masochistic.”

 9364112 TOUR   Malta OT 81295 2007

Isim Tour Ltd
Marian Ship Management & Consultancy Services Pvt Ltd  
2012-03-13 Other/Undefined

Office of Export Controls Cooperation (ISN/ECC)