The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has designated 16 entities and individuals for activities related to supporting the Democratic People’s Republic Korea’s (North Korea) nuclear and ballistic missile programs, energy trade, labour exports, and sanctions evasion.
Amongst them are two Singapore-based companies:
- Transatlantic Partners Pte. Ltd., (Transatlantic), 10 Anson Road, #29-05A, International Plaza 079903, Singapore.
- Velmur Management Pte. Ltd. (Velmur), 2 Marina Blvd., No. 66-08, The Sail at Marina Bay 018987, Singapore.
These companies were found to have provided oil to North Korea. Transatlantic have concluded a contract with a designated North Korean bank, Daesong Credit Development Bank to purchase fuel oil. Velmur also provided petroleum products to North Korea. According to Bloomberg, sanctioned North Korean banks were seeking to buy petroleum products from JSC Independent Petroleum Company (JSC), which is a blacklisted entity based in Russia. These North Korea banks paid for the petroleum products by making U.S. dollar payments via Transatlantic and Velmur, which then aided in transferring the monies to JSC.
North Korea Sanctions
The sanctions are intended to disrupt the economic ties that have allowed Pyongyang to continue funding its weapons of mass destruction programme.
Said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin, “Treasury will continue to increase pressure on North Korea by targeting those who support the advancement of nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and isolating them from the American financial system” He went on to state that, “It is unacceptable for individuals and companies in China, Russia, and elsewhere to enable North Korea to generate income used to develop weapons of mass destruction and destabilize the region. We are taking actions consistent with United Nations sanctions to show that there are consequences for defying sanctions and providing support to North Korea, and to deter this activity in the future.”
U.S. prosecutors are seeking a total forfeiture of US$11 million for money laundering and sanctions violations.