A US federal court on Friday ordered the seizure of an oil tanker suspected of making deliveries to North Korea, flouting US sanctions against Pyongyang.
M / T Courageous reportedly made transfers of petroleum products to North Korean-flagged vessels and made deliveries to the port of Nampo, North Korea, the US Department of Justice said in a statement, citing the documents. placed in the judicial record.
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The decision, by a federal judge in New York, to seize the ship means that the US government now owns this tanker with a capacity of 2,734 tonnes.
The former owner and operator of the oil tanker, a Singaporean national by the name of Kwek Kee Seng, is still wanted by the American authorities for complicity in money laundering.
Economy undermined by international sanctions
Kwek and his accomplices are involved in a vast system of evasion of US and UN sanctions by using ships under their control to smuggle fuel to North Korea, providing a vital resource to the government. North Korean
”, argued the Ministry of Justice.
The M / T Courageous would have been bought using US dollars passing through US banks "
without their knowledge
", the statement said.
Cambodia, where the M / T Courageous was anchored, seized the ship in March 2020 at the request of the United States.
North Korea's economy has been undermined for years by multiple international sanctions imposed in response to its banned military programs, including nuclear.
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At the end of June, the US special representative for North Korea urged members of the UN Security Council to strictly apply the resolutions against Pyongyang, intended to limit North Korean imports of oil and its exports, particularly coal. , textile and fish.