03 Nov 2017
The US on Thursday severed Bank of Dandong from its financial system, saying it acts as a conduit for illicit North Korean financial activity.
The institution is used for North Korea to access the US and international systems, including facilitating multi-million dollar payments for firms engaged in North Korea’s ballistic missile programmes, the US Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) said.
In June, FinCen found Bank of Dandong to be of “primary money laundering concern” for acting as a gateway for North Korea to access the US and other financial systems despite sanctions.
The bank has also facilitated financial activity for firms listed by the United Nations for proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as well as for front companies.
The measures against Bank of Dandong will “better protect the U.S. financial system from illicit schemes used by North Korea to evade sanctions and finance its weapons programs,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
“Banks and businesses worldwide should take note that they must be vigilant against attempts by North Korea to conduct illicit financing and trade.”
Based on FinCEN’s announcement, US financial institutions will be prohibited from opening or maintaining correspondent accounts for Bank of Dandong.
Efforts to get a comment from Bank of Dandong were unsuccessful.
– KYC360 News
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