0 $
2,500 $
5,000 $
2,040 $

China Caught Importing ‘Doctored’ & Rebranded Venezuelan Oil To Evade US Sanctions

Support SouthFront

Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

It’s no secret that Maduro’s Venezuela has long gone to extraordinary lengths to bust through the US oil export blockade and sanctions designed to choke the socialist country. This past summer, and in recent months, Iran emerged as Venezuela’s chief trading and sanctions-busing partner, with at one point US authorities seizing and later auctioning off over 1.1 million barrels of fuel taken from Iranian tankers bound for Venezuela.

As we and other have noted before, methods often employed to evade sanctions involve Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA, gaining the assistance of third party shell companies to change names and paperwork of vessels during export. “Ghosting” has also been a common tactic, which involves a tanker switching off its transponder in sensitive areas of a voyage to conceal its identity.

A new investigative report in Bloomberg details another dodge method being employed, namely “doping” the oil being transported with chemical additives while doctoring the accompanying paperwork, so that it can be “sold as a wholly different crude without a trace of its Venezuelan roots.”

Much of this embargoed Venezuelan crude is ending up in China under different names and paperwork intended to conceal its origin, as the report details:

Invoices and emails reviewed by Bloomberg show the lengths to which some traders will go to disguise the crude’s origin and get it to Asia, making Chinese refineries an essential lifeline for Venezuela’s battered oil industry. U.S. officials, of course, can’t ban Chinese or any international companies from buying Venezuelan oil. They can financially squeeze them, though, by prohibiting them from then doing any business with American companies. That is why such intricate steps are taken to disguise the origin of the crude.

This appears to be based on a trove of leaked emails containing the communications of industry insiders.

This likely represents the “tip of the iceberg,” the report underscores, while featuring examples like the following:

In one email seen by Bloomberg, a Swissoil trader marketing “Singma” urged a counterpart to violate a standard industry practice by keeping the original loading paperwork off a tanker. “Putting original BL on board of a vessel is insane, do not do it,” the trader said, referring to bills of lading. “You do not understand the problem you are getting into.”

In an email responding to questions, Swissoil’s attorney said, “Swissoil Trading SA is not marketing and has not marketed crude oil from Venezuela.”

Bloomberg saw documents for at least 11.3 million barrels of Venezuelan oil that were sold by Swissoil and delivered to China last year under the guise of other names.

It remains that on an official level China supposedly hasn’t imported Venezuelan crude in a year-and-a-half.

China Caught Importing 'Doctored' & Rebranded Venezuelan Oil To Evade US Sanctions

In one instance a Swissoil member tells an external company, “Gentlemen, this is the doping fee,” in reference to a mysterious over $200,000 fee that was billed. “I am sure we will need these guys in the future, please make sure they get paid promptly,” the email said.

Likely this state of things is only to continue and will possibly grow given the new Biden administration appears to be content to keep Trump’s max pressure campaign targeting Maduro and Venezuela’s state oil revenue in place.


Support SouthFront


Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Caught? China can buy whatever it wants to buy!


US is pathetic failure. China is showing big balls and has authorized its navy and coast guard to open fire on any western a-s-s hole that tests its Dash 9 line. BTW, Iran has
also sold more oil than even before the failed “maximum pressure” BS.


China authorizes coast guard to fire on foreign vessels Legislation also
allows demolition of other countries’ structures built on Chinese-claimed reefs within the self-proclaimed Dash 9 line.


yep, they can threaten some small nations bot are utterly impotent when it comes to china and russia and iran and so on and so forth. exceptionals hohoho

Proud Hindu

Lol.Venezualans dont have anything to eat so selling oil to chinese a$$hole$ is understable.


Of course.. if it would be your country that USA is trying to starve to death and than occupy – you would be standing with the hands up and asking to be raped after 5 minutes..


As long as the great leaders have expensive palaces, who cares of starving

Not Indian Paul

Pathetic statement. Chavez took the oil of the rich and put the money toward the poor. So the US effectively cut them off from world markets.


That’s why Venezuela is a model country for the rest.


Compared to most parts of usa,I’m sure most would agree better off indeed!


Great leaders deserve if not 1 but two very expensive palaces,compared to gates,bezos,musk,cia desperate losers,whom only deserve utter rubbish!


From your tax yes

William D

China’s ‘nine dash line’ is total nonsense. Hong Kong was intelligence rebelling, Washington DC was stupidity rebelling.


Biden has just told the FBI and CIA to focus on domestic terrorism and focus attention on fat white dumb slobs aged 18-60. Get set for more cavity searches at the airports and malls. Rednecks are the new face of domestic terrorism.

William D

Stupidity rebelling in USA, intelligence rebelling in Hong Kong. Big difference.

Yes, Biden ordered renewed CIA/FBI focus on dumb Americans. Am I missing something? You hear a lot about what Americans do because we have a free press.

Not Indian Paul

They have nothing to eat because the US have cut them off from world markets.


Frankly, the US is pushing a lot of BS as usual. 7 Iranian tankers and ships just reached Venezuela last week. The oil is flowing quite easily and brought to the mega Iranian port of Chah Bahar and then sold to China and India. This moron has no clue, and is pathetic troll.
India has officially informed the Biden administration that it intend to buy more Iranian oil.

India to keep buying Iranian oil despite U.S. sanctions: sources


tried,but failed that too.

Arch Bungle

BANGALORE – For four weeks, Mr Balappa has woken up anxious about how
to feed his children. “I spend most of my day searching for rice. I can’t look my wife in the eye anymore,” the construction worker said.

Mr Balappa is stuck in a Bangalore construction site with 20 other families who came from Gulbarga, a neighbouring district, to work. When India imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 24, they tried to walk home, but the police beat them back. On Day 3, they ran out of rice and lentils, their staple food.

Without work, the daily wage earners are unable to buy food regularly. Volunteers sometimes give them cooked food, but Mr Balappa’s wife Malamma said: “Charity keeps us alive, but is neither reliable nor enough to go around.”


That sucks,But the scarey bit,its starting to happen elsewhere too,thats nwo goal!
Indias best interests in lieu with the commonwealth,many opportiunities,lies disinformation,supporting the enemy of freedom (cia/biden/eu-epp) reaped sorrow!
Stay Safe:


the sanctions put in place by the disunited states of exceptional morons is illegal to start with so if china ignores the morons’ sanctions it’s alright particularly since the idiots in the white house can’t do much about it.


Iranian minister boasts about significant rise in oil exports despite US sanctions

Iran’s petroleum minister has officially remarked about the country’s rising oil exports in the face of US sanctions, as the nation claims that its international petroleum sales have hit record highs. China, South Korea and India are the three main customers.

Iran’s Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zanganeh did not publicly release detailed figures but said crude oil exports have risen “significantly,” even though the US ramped up sanctions on the Middle Eastern country under the Trump administration.


what can they do, the disunited states of exceptional morons, when the iraqis and the iranians co-load crude and give it an iraqi bill of health (certificate of origin) or arrange a ship to ship transfer outside the hormuz sound with shut down transponders and so on. sanctions is a losing proposition.


They are complete idiots, their failed sanctions have made Iran more powerful as it has started barter and mutual currency swaps with at least two dozen nations. Iran is exporting electricity now to Armenia, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan which will supply rice and other items (many defence related) in return.

Arch Bungle

Ha ha ha. Caught? What they gonna do, put China in jail??


Heck even ozi acting P.M said we don’t tell china what to do,they can do what they want’ like drr cia!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x