Hong Kong under scrutiny over North Korea sanctions
31 Oct 2017

Hong Kong banks need more support from the government to reduce their exposure to sanctioned North Korean entities via the Chinese firms they do business with.

That was the view of a United Nations sanctions expert in 2016, and, concern is once again highlighted in a recent UN report that sheds light on the financial hub’s conduit role when Pyongyang seeks to bypass the many sanctions imposed on it.

Chinese entities remain the key middlemen through which sanctioned North Korean companies gain access to the outside world and launder their illegal profits.

Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt, a member of the United Nations Panel of Experts on North Korea told a forum: “North Koreans have become very adept at utilising these types of mechanisms, aliases and front companies … and we’ve seen a lot of exposure for Hong Kong banks, a lot of transactions originating here.

– By Asia Unhedged

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