The US treasury department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has imposed sanctions on one Chinese company and four individuals it says are tied to North Korea’s proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
The sanctioned company is Dandong Hongxiang Industrial Development Company (DHID), which OFAC says acts for or on behalf of Korea Kwangson Banking Corporation, which has already been blacklisted by the US and the UN for providing financial services in support of WMD proliferators.
OFAC also designated Ma Xiaohong, Zhou Jianshu, Hong Jinhua, and Luo Chuanxu for acting for or on behalf of DHID.
Washington is essentially targeting 44-year-old businesswoman Ma Xiaohong and her vast conglomerate based in the Chinese frontier city of Dandong.
The discovery of the activities of the designated company and individuals, “exposes a key illicit network supporting North Korea’s weapons proliferation,” according to the treasury’s acting under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, Adam Szubin.
Dandong Hongxiang wrote more than $530 million worth of business with North Korea between 2011 and 2015, according to a report by the Asian Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul and C4ADS in Washington.
That could have been sufficient to fund North Korea’s uranium enrichment facilities, and design, make, and test nuclear weapons, according to the report.
As a result of OFAC’s newly imposed sanctions, any property or interests in property of the entities and individuals in the possession or control of US persons or within the US are blocked.
Additionally, US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions involving these designated persons.
Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News