Sanctioned Singapore oil and gas trader reacts to OFAC designation

Written by Nick Blenkey
OFAC sanctions are a Treasury function

On February 9, Singapore’s Unicious Energy Pte Ltd was among nine companies targeted by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) for facilitating the sale and shipment of petroleum and petrochemicals on behalf of Triliance Petrochemical Co. Ltd., which OFAC designated on January 23, 2020 for facilitating the sale of Iranian petroleum products from the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC).

“Singapore-based Unicious Energy Pte. Ltd. serves an important role in Triliance’s network, coordinating millions of dollars in petroleum-related payments for other companies within the network and aiding Triliance in its sale of hundreds of millions of dollars of petroleum products,” said OFAC.

After spelling out all the implications of sanctions, including those affecting companies doing business with the sanctioned entities, OFAC noted: “The power and integrity of OFAC sanctions derive not only from its ability to designate and add persons to the SDN List, but also from its willingness to remove persons from the SDN List consistent with the law. The ultimate goal of sanctions is not to punish, but to bring about a positive change in behavior.”

It then gave a link to information on the process to submit a request for removal from an OFAC sanctions list.

It looks like Unicious, which describes itself as “a reputable oil and gas trader .. .dedicated to connecting low cost producing countries with high demand growth markets” may have read that last bit. Today, it released the following statement:

“We are aware of the allegations that have been made by the United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control and understand that there is a high level of interest from the public and the media. We take these allegations seriously, and at this stage are focused on addressing the situation, and working with the relevant authorities. The company takes its compliance, governance and risk policies seriously and will be working with the relevant authorities to develop a fuller understanding of the allegations.

“We are unable to provide detailed comments at this time, but will endeavor to do so as more information becomes available.

“In the meantime, we would ask for your patience as we work to fully understand the allegations and work to respond to them. Thank you for your patience and understanding.”

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