The Zambia Watchdog recently highlighted how the PF Government irregularly cancelled an existing contract without considering the implication to the country and awarding irregularly a new contract to Independent Petroleum Group (IPG) in December 2015. IPG has now put the whole country in disrepute at international level by loading Iranian Crude oil from Iran and proceeding to disguise the criminality by issuing fraudulent documents to show the Cargo loaded is from Fujaira United Arab Emirates (UAE)!
The trail clearly shows that the vessel loaded Iranian Heavy Crude Oil from Kharg Island in Iran from National Iranian Oil Company known as NIOC in the trading circles. The Certificate of Qualities are clear on this including the destination of the cargo. Diesel was loaded from Bandar Mahshahr Port of Iran and the quality is 1% Sulfur (against Zambian grade of 0.5% Sulfur). Certificate of Quality which we have clearly indicate that the cargoes loaded in Iran and the product is off spec on the key parameter of Sulfur. It is clear that IPG knew what they were doing and that is why documents were hastily changed to show the vessel known as Mt Argo loaded from Fujaira in UAE. How would the vessel that was in Iran between 10 -11th February 2016 at the same time be in Fujaira as shown by the trail of documentation haphazardly put together? Interesting to note that the BL dates on the new issued BLs are the same as the Iranian ones, making it obvious that the BLs are fake.
Also, crude oil cargo description on the new issued BL is only HEAVY CRUDE OIL. It would be surprising that the Zambian agree to open an LC on this – since when did Zambia start ordering heavy crude oil? The Gasoil was loaded from BANDAR MAHSHAHR – IRAN on February 10th 2016 while the Crude oil was loaded from KHARG ISLAND – IRAN on February 11th 2016 as per available certificates of quantity and quality.
And who owns the vessel Mt. Argo? Available documentation clearly shows that Mt. Argo is an Iranian owned and registered vessel, owned by National Iranian Tanker Company (http://www.nitc.co.ir/).
By accepting this cargo, Zambia will be considered to be against the United Nations! Zambia is abetting the busting of United Nations Resolutions and sanctions against Iran! It is obvious the ship, MT Argo cannot have been loading at Kharg Island-Iran and Bandar Mahshahr port between 10-11th February 2016 and at the same time it was loading at Fujaira UAE..
In order to disguise the whole criminality, IPG entered a Joint venture with ENOC and formed a front by the name D&K Petroleum, as shown in a report in this link:
Unfortunately, they forgot and indicated the product is destined to Zambia! Since when did UAE start producing and marketing Iranian Heavy Crude Oil? The audacity of the supplier is proof of how Zambia is taken for granted due to greed of our politicians working with crooks instead of awarding contracts through competitive bidding. We all know how many countries and companies have been penalized for doing business with sanctioned countries and Zambia is no exceptional. Banks have suffered the same fate and no bank worth its salt will agree to handle this transaction if they come to know.
We can only hope the International community mainly US or UN do not get a wind of this and believe it will be the last. Doing business with a sanctioned country for a country that has signed all the International Protocols is a big mistake and IPG forging/changing documents is criminal.