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US charges Singapore detergents for North Korea: NPR

The FBI accuses Tan Wee Beng of laundry money through the United States and Singapore for North Korea. FBI hide…

The FBI accuses Tan Wee Beng of laundry money through the United States and Singapore for North Korea.


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The Justice Department accuses a Singaporean buyer to help North Korea circumvent sanctions, saying that Tan Wee Beng washed millions of dollars through the United States and Singapore.

“Tan Wee Beng and his co-sponsors made deliberate efforts to wash money through the US finance system on behalf of North Korea,” said Secretary of State Steven Mnuchin in a statement from the agency on Thursday announcing DOJ’s fees.

The Treasury Department also announced “North Korea-related designations” of two of Tan Wee Beng’s related companies, Wee Tiong (S) Pte Ltd and WT Marine Pte Ltd.

A representative of Wee Tiong (S) Pte Ltd, where Tan is a director and a major shareholder, said that NPR Tan could not comment on the fees.

But in comments to the BBC, 41

-year-old Tan denied the charges and said to the network: “No one has contacted me. The FBI has not called me, Singapore police have not called me.”

“We are an international trading company, and not a front [for laundering] “, he said, saying he found out the charges through news reports.

The Treasury Department claimed that since at least 2011, Tan and at least one other person at the company completed a contract for goods worth millions of dollars for North Korea.

“In order to do that, Tan Wee Beng made a concerted effort to confuse payment types and structure transactions to avoid regulatory control,” said the agency and added that in a case Tan and the company “unsuccessful payment in bulk cash, hand-delivered to a North Korean. “

Wee Tiong (S) Pte Ltd says that it is marine fuels, rice and sugar and is” one of the largest privately owned commodities trade [s] in Asia. “

The United States authorities issued a federal arrest warrant for Tan in August after officials blamed charges against him, including conspiracy to violate the International Crisis Management Act, Bank Fraud and Money Laundering.

North Korea has been called “one of the most sanctioned countries in the world” introduced by both the United States and the United Nations because of its nuclear tests, although North Korea takes creative action to avoid them.

Treasury Department said last year that North Korea uses “state-owned entities and banks, as well as bulk-smuggling and trade” to access financial grid outside the country. North Korea uses “aliases, agents and individuals in strategic jurisdictions, as well as through long-term networks of front or shell companies and embassy staff,” said the department.

State Secretary Mike Pompeo met the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un earlier this month in Pyongyang – Pompei’s fourth visit to the country – in continued talks with Kim about nuclear weapons. North Korea wants sanctions to be lifted immediately, while the United States wants the “final, fully verified nuclear core in North Korea” before what Mnuchin described it.

On Thursday, a senior North Korean official progressed since the historic summit between President Trump and Kim in June in Singapore, in addition to several meetings between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-this year.

Song Il-hyok, Deputy Director-General of North Korea’s Foreign Ministry’s Disarmament and Peace Institute, told a collection of security officers in Beijing that Trump and Kim “acknowledged that mutual trust can promote the Korean Peninsula’s nuclear power.”

However, according to South China Morning Post said Song said that the US would “immediately lift sanctions and prevent confidence building”, saying sanctions are “anti-trust measures”.

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