A Russian financial society was sanctioned by the Federal government last week over allegations that it aided the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) in evading sanctions and assisting the North Korean regime to access the international financial system.
Last Wednesday the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced the designation against the society, which it says has helped North Korea illicitly conduct financial transactions since at least 2017. It allegedly maintained several bank accounts for a mining company based in North Korea as well as accounts for an official for another minerals firm in North Korea that was previously sanctioned.
OFAC says this arrangement served as a conduit for these North Korean companies to access the international financial system despite being restricted from such contact by international sanction. According to OFAC, this access has provided yet another vehicle for the North Korean regime to obtain funding for its nuclear weapons proliferation program.
OFAC notes that the firm sanctioned last week is but the latest in a long line of Russian companies targeted by the Federal government for helping North Korea evade sanctions. As recently as last August a Russian commercial bank was sanctioned for knowingly conducting or facilitating a major transaction for a high-ranking North Korean official in violation of international restrictions.
As with all such designations, the firm designated last week is now legally forbidden from exercising rights to property within the jurisdiction of the United States, and U.S. citizens are prohibited from conducting business with the designated firm.