Unveiling MODAFL's Double-Layered Front Company Network
Exposing the sanction-circumvention mechanism behind the Ministry
February 2024

WikIran exposes confidential documents leaked recently online from MODAFL front company "Sahara Thunder".

The information highlights the way the Iranian Ministry of Defense and Armed Logistics ("MODAFL") uses Iranian and foreign front companies in order to circumvent international sanctions imposed on MODAFL and Iranian illicit oil trade.

As proven in documents uploaded to WikIran, MODAFL uses foreign bank accounts under the names of foreign front companies to facilitate its financial transactions (such as paying shipping companies and accruing revenue). This questionable method allows MODAFL to bypass sanctions imposed on it and violate international financial regulations, prohibiting financial institutions to provide any and all services to MODAFL or its adjacent entities.

The use of foreign front companies as part of the Iranian efforts to bypass international sanctions has been wildly published by WikIran in the past. These foreign front companies enable Iranian entities to hide their assets while abusing the international financial system; MODAFL is no different.

In fact, it seems as though MODAFL is using a double camouflage method hiding its illicit operations behind an "innocent" Iranian front company, then hiding the actions of the Iranian front company behind foreign front companies in order to hide any connection to Iran.

As can be seen by the sanctions imposed on the MODAFL by the US, the UK, Australia and the European Union, the organization's assets hidden behind the foreign front companies are used for weapons proliferation, the Iranian missile and UAV programs and IRGC-QF terrorism.

Front CompanyRegistration CountryBank NameAccount NumberProof
Brighten Star FZEUAEBank of Baroda90050200005862 (AED)Brighten Star FZE
Caltex Raw Materials Trading LLCUAEFirst Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB)AE550351191325616604001 (AED)Caltex Raw Materials Trading LLC
UAEAbu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB)AE480030012265820920001 (AED)Caltex Raw Materials Trading LLC
Despina Trading FZEUAEFirst Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB)1191324670901001 (AED)Despina Trading FZE
Elemon Trading LimitedChina/ Hong-KongChina Zheshang BankNRA2900000011420100120011 (USD) NRA2900000013820100018957 (EUR)Elemon Trading Limited
Jiushine Trading LimitedChina/ Hong-KongChina Zheshang BankNRA2900000011420100118517 (USD) NRA2900000013820100018533 (EUR)Jiushine Trading Limited
Lyoned Trading Co. LLCUAEAbu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB)19064693 (AED)Lyoned Trading Co. LLC
Nee LimitedChina/ Hong-KongPing An BankOSA15000094314485 (EUR)Nee Limited
Keltron Trading LLCUAEWIO BankAE160860000009429214873 (AED)Keltron Trading LLC
Talier Co., LimitedChina/ Hong-KongChina Everbright BankNRA75521488000202861 (USD)Talier Co., Limited

As identified by WikIran, the mentioned foreign front companies are either used directly by MODAFL to pay MODAFL vendors, or were used to receive funds from MODAFL-Sahara Thunder-linked companies as part of their business.

As can bee seen above, these companies are based either in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) or China/ Hong-Kong, and have their own international bank accounts that enable the MODAFL to engage in international transactions using foreign currencies including USD, EUR and AED.