A number of US-sanctioned tankers controlled by United Arab Emirates-based Hennesea Holdings have appeared in somewhat unusual locations, according to satellite data.

In an apparent case of AIS spoofing, several vessels were spotted at airports in Egypt and Lebanon.

The owner, also known as Hennesea Tankers Corporation, has 18 tankers on the US sanctions list for alleged breaches of the G7 price cap on Russian oil.

Vessel tracking showed the 46,000-dwt MR vessel Sensus (built 2005) at the Lebanese town of Beit ed-Dine in the last week.

Bloomberg also reported the tanker showing up at Beirut’s Rafic Hariri airport on 17 May.

The vessel then made the voyage overland and on to an anchorage off Port Said, Egypt, if AIS is to be believed. Other ships briefly appeared at Cairo airport in Egypt.

The email contact address given by Hennesea’s website was rejecting emails on Wednesday.

Vessel tracking shows the 18 vessels now grouped at a number of anchorages worldwide.

A total of eight are anchored off China and South China, with another two in repair yards there.

Name and flag changes

Most of the others are off Port Said, where some of the crude and product ships have been for three months.

Five of the tankers have changed names in recent weeks.

They have also changed flag from Liberia.

Bloomberg reports the vessels flagged in Eswatini, a new register in the small African landlocked country formerly known as Swaziland.

But the Equasis database has the designation “false” next to its report of the switch to Eswatini.

Liberia had previously responded to sanctions designations by deflagging ships.

Hennesea was established in late 2022 and rapidly built up a fleet of older tankers that shipped Russian crude and petroleum products, US Treasury officials said.