| LONDON, March 4
LONDON, March 4 Archer Daniels Midland Co
unwittingly used a vessel controlled by a sanctioned
Iranian shipping firm last year to transport grain, in what it
said was an effort by Tehran to hide the ship's ownership.
The Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) has
faced Western and U.N. sanctions for years based on accusations
of transporting weapons, a charge it denies.
Illinois-based ADM, one of the world's largest grain
traders, said in a U.S. regulatory filing a majority-owned and
controlled affiliate of the company hired a vessel to transport
a cargo of grain in July last year.
ADM officials could immediately be reached for further
comment on Monday. IRISL also could not be immediately reached
ADM said the name of the vessel and the charterer were not
on the U.S. Treasury's list of targeted individuals or entities
when it made shipping arrangements and paid $481,800 directly to
"It was later determined by the company and its bank that
the vessel involved was beneficially owned by IRISL, a
sanctioned party," ADM said in a Securities and Exchange
Commission filing dated Feb. 28.
"The involvement of a sanctioned party was inadvertent and
unintentional and we believe the result of a concerted effort by
Iran to hide its ownership of the vessel," it said.
IRISL, Iran's biggest cargo carrier, has tried to dodge
sanctions by changing its flags and setting up front companies,
the U.S. Treasury and the European Union have said. Last year
IRISL Managing Director Mohammad Hussein Dajmar said that if
pressure from Western sanctions continued, the group would face
increasingly grave financial problems.
ADM said in the SEC filing it had made a voluntary
disclosure to the U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets
Control unit, which enforces trade sanctions.
"Neither the company nor its affiliate nor other of its
subsidiaries have any intention of continuing such activity with
a prohibited party," the U.S. agribusiness giant said.
"There was no profit that can be attributed to this
specific transportation activity."
ADM did not disclose the name of the vessel or the charterer
in the filing.
Earlier this year, the Amina, an Iranian-flagged vessel fled
detention in Sri Lanka's waters and returned to Iran. Sri
Lanka's navy had earlier fired warning shots to prevent the
vessel from leaving, acting on a court order obtained by
Germany's DVB Bank in pursuit of debts it said were unpaid.
The Amina is managed by Tehran-based Rahbaran Omid Darya
Ship Management, which authorities in Brussels and Washington
have said is an IRISL front company.