Iran used the accounts of Lloyds and Santander UK, two of the UK's largest banks, to secretly move money in a sanctions evasion plan backed by Iranian intelligence services.
According to a series of documents that Financial Times (paywall) had access, and Lloyds and Santander UK provided accounts to British shell companies, Secretly held by a sanctioned Iranian petrochemical companyIts headquarters is located near Buckingham Palace in London.
The state-controlled Petrochemical Commercial Company (PCC) was part of a network that the United States accuses of raising hundreds of millions of dollars for the Quds Force, part of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, and working with Russian intelligence agencies to raise funds. Iranian militia funds.
The Financial Times (FT) reports that PCC and its British subsidiary PCC UK have been subject to US sanctions since November 2018.
According to a series of documents, emails and accounting records, during this period, PCC's UK division continued to operate from an office located in Grosvenor Gardens, in the Belgravia area of central London, using a complex network of entities.
The Financial Times also reported that the Iranian sanctions evasion operation was revealed in London It has occurred since the Royal Air Force joined US airstrikes against the Houthi rebels Supported by Iran in Yemen.
Last week, the United Kingdom and the United States imposed sanctions on what they called a “transnational assassination network,” supervised by Iranian intelligence, targeting activists and opponents, including British residents.
Documents seen by the Financial Times show that since being subject to US sanctions, Iran can no longer bear their costs. The Chinese Communist Party used UK companies to receive money from front Iranian entities in ChinaWith its true ownership hidden through “trust agreements” and nominated directors.
One of them, Pisco UK, is registered at a separate residence in the English county of Surrey and uses a Santander UK business account.
According to the country's business registry, Pisco UK is wholly owned by a British citizen named Abdullah Siwash Fahmi.
Among what the Financial Times revealed was that Fahmi used a PCC email address to communicate with company officials in Tehran, and that he was a director of PCC UK from April 2021 to February 2022.
In 2021, Pisco's Santander account received a transfer from a Chinese company called Black Tulip, which according to PCC's internal records is another trust controlled by an employee of the petrochemical trading company.
Last year, the US Treasury Department accused Iranian petrochemical companies of using multiple shell entities to evade sanctions by routing their sales through Asia.
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