Sahara Thunder’s Involvement in Transporting Russian Crude Oil to China
WikiIran's Exclusive
February 2024

As widely publicized, Sahara Thunder is used as a front in favor of the MODAFL’s efforts to export UAVs to Russia. However, recent documents analyzed by WikiIran unveil that the MODAFL-Russia secret dealings aren’t exclusively limited to arm deals, but also to joint sanction evasion operations involving the export of illicit oil.

According to Sahara Thunder’s leaked documents, the company is currently involved in a worldwide effort led by Gazprom, Russia’s national gas giant, to sell Russian crude oil to China. pic1


As part of the deal, Russian crude oil loaded from a Russian port was sold and exported to China National United Oil Corporation Limited, which is a subsidiary of Chinese petroleum giant China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC).

As highlighted by UANI, in 2017 the U.S. states of South Carolina and Tennessee listed China National United Oil Corporation Limited on its state list of Companies Doing Business with Iran, rendering it ineligible for investment and state contracting.

The Russian oil was loaded from Murmansk using MT REMY (IMO: 9247431), a vessel leased by MODAFL, under the cover of Sahara Thunder. MT REMY is currently on route to China, probably Tianjin (mentioned as a destination in the email correspondence itself).

As shown by other emails and exposed documents, MT REMY is frequently used by Sahara Thunder to ship illicit Iranian oil.



Both Tax Invoices indicate that Sahara Thunder was “in charge” in some form of MT REMY during its voyage to transport Gazprom’s crude oil (December 2023- January 2024).

MT REMY hasn’t arrived to China yet, with ETA of February 16th, making it highly eligible to prompt action to prevent the MODAFL's vessel from reaching China!


WikiIran’s Team calls on any capable actor to take responsible measures to prevent the funding provided by it to the Islamic Regime’s Ministry of Defense from its involvement in the sale of Russian oil.