Financial Services Authority looking into standing of Seychelles-registered firm that trades with Iran
The Financial Services Authority is the regulator for non-bank financial services in Seychelles. (Rassin Vannier, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles' Financial Services Authority (FSA) has launched an investigation into the financial transactions of Power Anchor Limited, a Chinese offshore company operating in Seychelles, a top official said on Monday.
The offshore company is directly linked to Pamchel Trading Beijing, a steel manufacturer, which trades with Iran.
The United States imposed new sanctions on Iran's steel and iron manufacturers last Friday, after Iranian airstrikes against two US military installations in Iraq.
One company which was directly targeted was Pamchel Trading Beijing, which the US said has bought tens of thousands of metric tons of steel slabs on a monthly basis since August 2019 from Iran's Mobarakeh Steel.
The trade sanctions are both primary and secondary, meaning that they would apply to third parties doing business with Iran.
FSA's chief executive, Steve Fanny, told SNA that the two companies are directly linked. He said the offshore company, Power Anchor Limited, registered in Seychelles, which receives money on behalf of Pamchel Trading Beijing, thus falling under the secondary sanction.
"When sanctions are in place we need to ensure that no transaction is taking place that would damage Seychelles' reputation. In this context, Seychelles can be liable under the secondary sanction if it receives money from Pamchel Trading Beijing that comes from any transaction with Iran," he said.
Fanny said that since the announcement on Friday, FSA has started an investigation into the financial transaction of Power Anchor Limited, to ensure their dealings do not affect our jurisdiction.
"As a regulator for Power Anchor Limited, we have to investigate what is happening, establish the facts and see whether any transaction is taking place that is linked with Iran. We will be conducting this investigation between now and the coming weeks. If they are found to be dealing with Iran then we will have to proceed with legal action against the offshore company," said Fanny.
Under the law, FSA can file a court case seeking to dissolve such companies that do not comply with sanctions imposed by a country.
Fanny said that this is a complex situation and FSA will ensure that it follows all legal procedures before taking any action against the company.
He told SNA that an outcome is expected in a month's time.
The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said the US imposed the various sanctions against Iran to "cut off billions of support to the Iranian regime."
The new measures are expected to crack down on Iran's few remaining sources of export revenue and squeeze the nation's economy to force its leaders back into negotiations for a new nuclear agreement.
Other than the Chinese trading company, sanctions have also been imposed on a Chinese shipping vessel and an Oman-based supplier for facilitating and engaging in business with the Iranian metals sector.
Tensions between the US and Iran escalated leading to the January 2 U.S. airstrike in Baghdad that killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.