US adds South African national to DPRK sanctions list

OFAC3OFAC has designated Russia-born, South African national Vladlen Amtchentsev pursuant to Executive Order 13722 for acting for or on behalf of Velmur Management Pte Ltd, a Singapore-based entity previously designated by the US for being involved in the purchase of fuel oil and gasoil for North Korea. As a result, Mr Amtchentsev will now be subject to a US asset freeze and travel ban. See OFAC Notice and US Treasury Press Release.

EU updates vessels listed under N Korea sanctions

EU3In line with the UN Security Council, the EU has updated the information regarding a number of vessels designated under its North Korea sanctions list. See Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2018/1657 and Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1654.

OFAC adds Singaporean national & entities to N Korea sanctions

US Treasury Building2Yesterday, OFAC designated a Singaporean national, Tan Wee Beng, and two Singapore-based entities, Wee Tiong (S) Pte Ltd and WT Marine Pte Ltd, pursuant to Executive Order 13551 (asset freezes), for engaging in “money laundering, the counterfeiting of goods or currency, bulk cash smuggling, narcotics trafficking, or other illicit economic activity that involves or supports the Government of North Korea or any senior official thereof”. Mr Beng is a director and significant shareholder of Wee Tiong (S) Pte Ltd, a commodities trading company, and the Managing Director of WT Marine Pte Ltd, a marine fuels company.

Two vessels operated and managed by WT Marine Pte Ltd were also designated for engaging in “illicit economic activity” involving or supporting the North Korean government: JW JEWEL (IMO: 9402964) and NYMEX STAR (IMO: 9078191). See OFAC Notice and Treasury press release.

Furthermore, the US Department of Justice unsealed criminal charges against Mr Beng for “conspiring to violate United States sanctions on the DPRK by conducting… illicit transactions on behalf of North Korean entities” – see DoJ press release.

UN & EU designate 3 vessels over illicit DPRK ship-to-ship transfers

Oil tanker ship.jpgThe UN Security Council has designated 3 vessels – Shang Yuan Bao, New Regent, and Kum Un San 3 – pursuant to para 12 of UNSC Resolution 2321 (2016) and para 6 of UNSC Resolution 2371 (2017), for engaging in illicit North Korea-related ship-to-ship transfers, “likely for oil”. The vessels will now be subject to de-flagging and a UN-wide port ban. See UN press release.

On 26 October 2018, the EU implemented these UN listings, see Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2018/1613 and Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1606.

OFAC sanctions Turkish company over illicit trade with N Korea

OFAC3Today, OFAC has sanctioned a Turkey-based company, SIA Falcon International Group, pursuant to Executive Order 13551 (asset freeze), for importing, exporting, or reexporting arms or related material and luxury goods to or from North Korea. Two individuals, Huseyin Sahin and Erhan Culha, have also been designated for acting for or on behalf of SIA Falcon. Huseyin Sahin is the CEO of SIA Falcon, holds 100% of the voting capital, and is a member of its board of directors. Erhan Culha is the company’s general manager.

Ri Song Un, the economic and commercial councillor at the North Korean embassy in Mongolia, has also been designated by OFAC, pursuant to Executive Order 13687 (asset freeze and travel ban), for being an official of the North Korean government. Earlier in 2018, officials from SIA Falcon are said to have hosted Ri Song Un in Turkey to negotiate trade deals involving weapons and luxury goods. See OFAC Notice and US Treasury press release.

OFAC sanctions DPRK-controlled IT companies in China and Russia

US Treasury Building2Under its North Korea measures, OFAC has sanctioned China-based Yanbian Silverstar Network Technology Co. Ltd, its North Korean CEO, Jong Song Hwa, and its Russia-based sister company, Volasys Silver Star, in order to target “the revenue North Korea earns from overseas information technology (IT) workers”. US asset freezes imposed. See OFAC Notice and Treasury press release.

US criminal charges & OFAC sanctions for N Korean cyber attacks

OFAC2Pursuant to Executive Order 13722, OFAC has sanctioned one entity, Korea Expo Joint Venture, and one individual, Park Jin Hyok, for being “tied to the Government of North Korea’s malign cyber activities” (assets freeze and travel ban imposed).

The US Department of Justice has announced criminal charges against the same person, Park Jin Hyok, for his involvement in a “conspiracy to conduct multiple destructive cyberattacks around the world resulting in damage to massive amounts of computer hardware, and the extensive loss of data, money and other resources”. See OFAC Notice, Treasury press release and DoJ press release.

3rd countries align with EU sanctions on Libya, DPRK, Russia/Ukraine, Maldives & Terrorism

EU3.jpgLibya: On 30 July 2018, the EU adopted Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/1086, which removed an individual (Omar Ashkal) from its Libya sanctions. The following countries have aligned themselves with that Decision: Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Moldova, and Georgia. See EU press release.

DPRK: On 30 July 2018, the EU adopted Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/1087, which updated its sanctions on North Korea (DPRK). The following countries have aligned themselves with that Decision: Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Moldova, and Armenia. See EU press release.

Russia/Ukraine: On 5 July 2018, the EU adopted Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/964, which prolonged its sectoral sanctions on Russia for a further 6 months, until 31 January 2019. On 30 July, the EU also adopted Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/1085, which added 6 entities to its Russia/Ukraine sanctions (actions undermining the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine) for their involvement in the construction of the Kerch Bridge connecting Russia to the Crimean Peninsula. The following countries have aligned themselves with both of those Decisions: Montenegro, Albania, Norway, and Ukraine. See respective EU press releases here and here.

Maldives: On 16 July 2018, the EU adopted Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/1006, which established a sanctions framework on the Maldives in response to the country’s “continuing deterioration of the rule of law and human rights”. The following countries have aligned themselves with that Decision: Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Liechtenstein, Norway, Moldova, and Armenia. See EU press release.

Terrorism: On 16 July 2018, the EU adopted Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/1000, which added Algerian national Rabah Tahari to its ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaeda sanctions list. On 30 July, the EU also adopted Council Decision 2018/1084, which updated the list of persons and entities involved in terrorist acts as laid down by Council Common Position 2001/931/CFSP. The following countries have aligned themselves with both of those Decisions: Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Moldova, and Armenia. Furthermore, Liechtenstein and Georgia have aligned themselves with Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/1000 only. See respective EU press releases here and here.