A directive from the Iraqi Oil Ministry to increase oil-blending operations on behalf of Iran and export Iranian oil from Khor al-Zubair Port was communicated within the oil sector. Two oil and shipping companies operating in Basra, Al-Iraqia Shipping Services and Oil Trading Company and Iraqi Land Transport Company;
The Iraqi Land Transport Company, which was involved with AISSOT and SOMO in these illicit oil sales, is part of the Muften Group. The Muften brothers and their network are linked to a number of entities involved in moving Iraqi funds to the IRGC and Lebanese Hezbollah.
A key Muften associate, Mohamed Abdul Hussein Gaafar is the Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Iraqi Land Transport Company. He is also an owner of Iraqi Company for General Transportation and Oil Production (ICGTOP), which is linked to Aras Habib’s Bilad Islamic Bank (al-Ataa Bank). He’s also an owner of Union Bank of Iraq, which is involved in other SOMO-Central Bank of Iraq rackets.
Additional owners of the Iraqi Land Transport Company include ICGTOP and Babylon Bank, which is central to the networks of the notorious Essam al-Asadi and Aras Habib. Habib and his Al-Bilad Islamic Bank, (which changed its name to al-Ataa) are under sanctions for facilitating transfers between the IRGC and Lebanese Hezbollah.
Muften Group’s direct involvement in black oil sales comes as no surprise to observers of the Iraqi oil and shipping industry. This network, together with Essam al-Asadi’s, is known to have been working directly with Former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in various Iraqi sectors to provide cash flow to the IRGC and Hezbollah.
Also Known As:
Iraqi Land Transport Co.
Iraqi Land Transport Building, Al Maared Street, Al Nahda Square, Baghdad, Iraq
Reason for the color:
» Iran’s Assets in Iraq’s Oil and Shipping Industry: State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) and AFAQ, a Private Iraqi Cartel;