Victor Restis, a Greek businessman who runs his family’s shipping company called Enterprises Shipping & Trading SA. This company owns “Golden Energy Marine Corp”, which owns a fleet of tanker vessels that operate in the USA. Restis, several years ago, was the subject of controversy when he faced allegations that he has numerous business interests with Iran. During that time, despite rejecting those claims, he continued to maintain his business interests in Iran.
But now, it seems that he has graduated to a whole other level of illicit activity. According to our sources in the Basra port, Restis operates a joint oil smuggling operation along with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). Using his intricate business connections in Iran which he has built over the years, Restis was able to use his contacts in the Iranian Oil Ministry and other in the private sector to serve as the go between the IRGC and Evalend shipping, a shipping company that aids the IRGC to circumvent sanctions against Iran and distribute Iranian Oil to the world market.
Our contacts in the Basra Port further tell us that Restis’ “man on the grounds” is a Greek captain called George Sarris, who is also one of Restis’ senior workers as well as his personal confidant. In exchange for his services, Restis receives his payment in the form of crude oil provided by Evalend Shipping (which is in turn supplied by the IRGC). This is not only a highly profitable form of payment but also one that is very hard to track.
Because of US sanctions, Iran is struggling to sell its oil products worldwide. In this respect, the IRGC has become a dominant player in smuggling Iranian and Iraqi oil (which comes from the Kurdish areas and is also owned by the IRGC). Therefore, Restis’ involvement in this activity is crucial to the whole success of this oil smuggling scheme since he provides a service for the smuggled oil.