• May 1, 2015


Alleged irregularities involving Manx shipping and aircraft registers led to a call for regulations to be tightened at the Celtic League AGM in Dublin earlier this month.

A resolution (text below) was adopted and has been sent to the DED Minister:

“The Minister for Economic Development
Mr Laurence Skelly MHK
Department of Economic Development
St Georges Court
Upper Church Street
Isle of Man

30th April 2015

Dear Minister,

The attached resolution was considered by the Celtic League AGM held in Dublin on 10th – 12th and unanimously adopted by the delegates from the six Celtic countries present.

I have communicated with you in the past about the Ukrainian episode however the IRISL issue predates your time with the Department and (briefly) surrounds an allegation conveyed to us by the political department at the Israeli Embassy in London that:

“in November 2009 a Douglas-registered ship (‘Visea’), owned by Douglas-based ‘Byfleet Shipping’ transferred 320 tons worth of arms shipments, including 9,000 mortar shells, thousands of 107-mm Katyusha rockets, 600 122-mm rockets, and hundreds of thousands of rounds of Iranian ammunition, onto another ship, ‘Francop’, destined for Hezbollah, it seems that the Isle of Man government may indeed have acted in breach of UN Security Council Resolution 1747.”

The Manx government via the Chief Ministers Office denied this at the time however I am bound to say I cannot see why the Israeli government would have advanced the information if it was not soundly based. In addition the Isle of Man through companies registered here does, sadly, have a track record in embroilment in illicit arms trading.

“This AGM:

Mindful of the adverse International publicity generated over the past five years in relation to the Isle of Man companies, shipping and aircraft register calls for tighter regulation and controls of the register.

The League cite the examples of the use of the Isle of Man by the Iranian State company IRISL and the allegation by the Israeli government (2010) that some IRISL vessels were used for the illicit transport of arms.

The League also cites the more recent example (2014) of aircraft allegedly removed from Ukraine by the former President of that country Victor Yanukovych.”

Yours sincerely

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information”

Some background links;

Ukranian Aircraft on Manx Register Query
Yanukovych Planes Register Legitimate Say DED
Manx Arms Shipping Case Exceptional Allege Finnish Police
US Treasury Designate Manx Companies with Iran Link
Mannin Helping Iran Beat Sanctions via Deception
Arms Firm Linked to Rwandan Army Chief
Conflict Awareness Project (pdf)
More Weapons to South Sudan

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League


(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur.)


The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues

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