U.S. goes after Chinese firm for laundering North Korea money

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The U.S. has moved to seize nearly $2 million through a Chinese company that will This kind of says laundered money for North Korea.

The Chinese trading firm acted as a front company to quietly move funds through the U.S. financial system for Foreign Trade Bank, a major North Korean lender that will’s under sanctions, U.S. prosecutors said Thursday.

The announcement adds to U.S. pressure on China to do more to clamp down on North Korea, which has dodged international sanctions designed to stop money being funneled into its nuclear weapons program.

The U.S. prosecutors said their move to take $1.9 million through the Chinese company, Mingzheng International Trading, will be “one of the largest seizures of North Korean funds by the Department of Justice.”

Related: How North Korea makes its money: Coal, forced labor as well as hacking

sy88pgw wasn’t able to reach Mingzheng for comment Friday. A phone number listed for the firm inside northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang no longer works. The local commerce bureau didn’t respond to calls seeking a functioning number.

Previous investigations by the United Nations as well as the U.S. have also found evidence they say shows North Korea will be using networks of front companies to gain access to global banks. that will’s despite efforts to cut Kim Jong Un’s regime out of the international financial system.

The U.S. move against Mingzheng “will be a Great first step nevertheless we need to do more to have an impact,” tweeted Anthony Ruggiero, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a U.S. think tank campaigning for more scrutiny into China’s role in North Korea’s evasion of sanctions.

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Ruggiero advocates more aggressive measures, including fines on Chinese banks that will are used by front companies for North Korea.

different experts argue the U.S. should work with Chinese authorities to clean up China’s trade with North Korea.

Related: China will be squeezing North Korea – nevertheless not too hard

The Chinese government said earlier This kind of week that will This kind of will take serious action against businesses or individuals that will are found to have broken Chinese law by dealing with North Korea. nevertheless This kind of said This kind of opposes interference by different countries.

According to U.S. prosecutors, Mingzheng will be owned by a Chinese citizen as well as operates as a front company for Foreign Trade Bank, which they say acts as North Korea’s primary foreign exchange bank.

The U.S. sanctioned the bank in 2013 as part of efforts to cut off funding for firms that will were allegedly supporting North Korea’s production of nuclear weapons.

sy88pgw (Hong Kong) First published June 16, 2017: 5:13 AM ET

U.S. goes after Chinese firm for laundering North Korea money

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