LONDON, June 22, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- World-Check's vessel screening research unit profiled 17 of the 27 vessels allegedly connected to Iran's nuclear and missile programs many months ahead of their inclusion on published government lists on 16 June 2010. Having this vital information early has helped World-Check clients to avoid the risks associated with engaging with these companies and vessels.
The US Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has also amended the names of 71 of the previously listed vessels, of which 69 of the new names were already profiled by World-Check. The vessels are included in the sanctions lists for their role in allegedly helping Iran to fund nuclear and missile programs and to evade international sanctions. The new listing includes five front companies and more than 90 ship names.
"Our researchers have been successfully collecting and analysing vessel and associated transactional data since 2001," explained Daniel Peak, Chief Executive Officer of World-Check.
"The vessel data we gather is unique because we not only profile embargoed vessels but vessels registered under embargoed countries and ports. Our intelligence highlights all maritime vessels appearing on sanctions and enforcement lists and also tracks name and flag changes of vessels. We include all IMO* numbers and characteristics for vessels. More importantly, we link this information to registered owners and other parties where appropriate, profiles of these individuals and organisations are also included in our database."
"Time and again the quality of our research and our ability to provide early warning of the associated risks to our clients is proven when government sanction and watch lists are published."
Vessel screening is vital to avoid risks such as reputational and loss of income. The most serious direct risk is a vessel that has been hi-jacked, stolen, leased or bought and subsequently registered with false information about its identity, ownership, dimensions and characteristics. These so-called 'phantom ships' and scams rely overwhelmingly on the falsification of documents and corrupt officials, in tandem with the deft exploitation of credible financial and legal instruments.
Indirect risks include investing in businesses and partnerships that have subsidiaries or associates linked to shipping concerns that may be involved or associated with unethical or illicit activities. This usually results in prosecution, collateral and financial loss, or reputational damage.
Trusted by more than 4 500 institutions in over 160 countries, including 49 of the world's top 50 banks, World-Check offers an end-to-end solution for assessing, managing and remediating financial, regulatory and reputational risks. World-Check's global database of Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) and heightened risk individuals and entities, due diligence reports, passport verification and country risk assessment tools provide the means to address the full spectrum of risk across all markets and industries. Represented across five continents, World-Check's international research team monitors emerging risks in more than 50 languages, covering over 240 countries and territories worldwide.
*An IMO ship identification number is an identifying character string assigned by the International Maritime Organization to a ship for identification purposes in order to enhance "maritime safety, and pollution prevention and to facilitate the prevention of maritime fraud."
For more information visit http://www.world-check.com/ Heather Thompson World-Check Media Desk E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org