The forfeiture is based on violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), bank fraud statute, and money laundering statute, as well as separately the terrorism forfeiture statute.
The documents claim a scheme to unlawfully access the US financial system to support illicit shipments to Syria from Iran by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). As the US Department of Justice said, the scheme regards multiple parties affiliated with the IRGC and furthered by the deceptive voyages of the Grace 1. A network of front companies allegedly laundered millions of dollars in support of such shipments.
A seizure warrant is merely an allegation. Every criminal defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty, and the burden to prove forfeitability in a civil forfeiture proceeding is upon the government
In announcing the indictment, US Attorney Liu congratulated the work of those who investigated the case from HSI and FBI. They also expressed appreciation for the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs for its assistance in this case.
However, the Grace 1 has now departed the UK sovereign territory on August 19, heading east across the Mediterranean.
The Strait of Hormuz experienced an increased tension for months now. It first started when the UK arrested the Indian Captain and Chief Officer of the Iranian tanker 'Grace 1', a few days after the ship was seized suspected of breaching EU sanctions by shipping oil to Syria.
Later on, what is said to be an act of retaliation, was when Iran seized Stena Impero. Yet, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard seized another foreign vessel, supporting that it was transmitting 700,000 litres of oil to 'some Arab countries in the Persian Gulf.'