WASHINGTON, July 31, 2021 (AFP) – A US federal court on Friday ordered the confiscation of an oil tanker suspected of making deliveries to North Korea and violating US sanctions against Pyongyang.
The US Justice Department said in a statement, citing documents included in the court file, that M/T Courageous transferred petroleum products to North Korean-flagged ships and delivered them to the North Korean port of Nampo.
A federal judge in New York’s decision to seize the ship means the US government becomes the owner of the 2,734-ton tanker. The former owner and operator of the ship, a Singaporean named Quake Ki Seng, is wanted by US authorities for complicity in money laundering.
The Justice Department argued, “Quake and its partners are involved in a comprehensive system to circumvent US and United Nations sanctions by using ships under their control to smuggle fuel to North Korea, an important step for the Pyongyang government.” provide resources.”
M/T Courageous would have been purchased through US banks “without their knowledge”, with text notes. Cambodia, where the ship was docked, seized it in March 2020 at the request of the United States.
North Korea’s economy has been severely hit by international sanctions imposed over the years in response to its restricted military programs, including nuclear ones. In late June, the US Special Representative for North Korea urged members of the United Nations Security Council to vigorously implement resolutions against Pyongyang, which has been called off by North Korean oil imports and its exports, mainly coal, textiles and fish. was designed to be limited.