Sanctions: UN team could target individual banks after banning four ships
19 Oct 2017

The United Nations team overseeing the North Korean sanctions could identify and ban certain banks found to violate the measures, following its “unprecedented” ban on four ships earlier this month, an official told KYC360.

Four vessels – Petrel 8, Hao Fan 6, Tong San 2 and Jie Shun – were designated on 5 October for violating UN Security Council restrictions.

The move against the ships was initiated by the United States, which is a member of the UN Security Council, said Giovanni Davoli, spokesman for the Italian Mission to the UN.

The decision was adopted on 3 October, and as “there was no objection by the others, after the deadline passed it was approved.”

Banks could also be blacklisted by the UN if they too are found to have violated the sanctions, he explained.

Generally, financial institutions closely monitor lists with the latest information on sanctions and asset freezes, and governments issue statements alerting them of developments.

In line with the September UN sanctions, the United Kingdom’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) issued a statement, advising: “You must check whether you maintain any accounts or hold any funds or economic resources for the [named] persons, freeze such accounts, and other funds or economic resources,”

“You must also refrain from dealing with the funds or economic resources or making them available (directly or indirectly) to such persons unless licensed by [OFSI],” it added.

The UN will be closely monitoring sanctions and “it’s [Italy’] job as chair of the committee to make sure that the implementation is as good as possible,” Davoli said.

Following Pyongyang’s nuclear test in September, the UN Security Council imposed fresh sanctions, which include limits on imports of crude oil, a ban on the sale of all natural gas liquids to North Korea and on its exports of textiles.

It also imposed assets freezes on North Korean units such as the Propaganda and Agitation Department, as well as the Organisation and Guidance Department, which it said is instrumental in implementing the Pyongyang’s censorship policies.

– By Irene Madongo

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