The Federal government last week announced penalties against two Chinese companies they say assisted the government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) in evading international sanctions.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said the two firms operate a fleet of vessels that engaged in ship-to-ship transfers to North Korean tankers and coal carriers. The companies allegedly provided other services and goods to North Korean firms that themselves were already under sanction from OFAC.
In an effort at masking their dealings with North Korean firms, OFAC says the two companies also engaged in deception that permitted North Korean officials in the European Union to obtain goods to support the ruling elite in the DPRK.
According to OFAC, North Korean companies regularly engage in several practices to evade sanctions, including disabling or manipulating automated identification systems, physically altering vessels, conducting STS transfers, and falsifying cargo documentation.
As with all such designations by OFAC, the parties in question are legally prohibited from exercising their rights to property within the jurisdiction of the United States, and Americans are forbidden from engaging in business transactions with them as well.
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