The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Thursday designated two Singapore-based entities and an individual for laundering money in support of North Korea.
The two entities are marine fuels company WT Marine Pte Ltd and commodity trading house Wee Tiong (S) Pte Ltd; the individual is Tan Wee Beng, a director and significant shareholder of Wee Tiong.
Over several years, dating back to at least 2011, Tan Wee Beng and at least one other individual in his company fulfilled millions of dollars in commodities contracts for North Korea, according to OFAC.
To do so, Tan Wee Beng made a concerted effort to obfuscate payment origins and structure transactions to avoid regulatory scrutiny. He and his co-conspirators also knew of and took efforts to evade financial sanctions on North Korea.
In at least one instance, when a wire payment was rejected, Tan Wee Beng and Wee Tiong (S) Pte Ltd orchestrated payment in bulk cash, hand-delivered to a North Korean.
In 2017, the JW JEWEL (IMO: 9402964) and NYMEX STAR (IMO: 9078191), both Singapore-flagged oil tankers operated and managed by WT Marine Pte Ltd, engaged in illicit economic activity that involves or supports the Government of North Korea.
“Tan Wee Beng and his co-conspirators made deliberate efforts to launder money through the U.S. financial system on behalf of North Korea,” said OFAC Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.
“Governments, financial institutions, and other companies worldwide need to be on high alert to these types of schemes. The U.S. government will not overlook these deceptive practices.
“We are deeply committed to the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea, and Treasury will continue to enforce and implement sanctions until that time.”
The following individual has been added to OFAC's SDN List:
TAN, Wee Beng, 51 Siang Kuang Avenue, Singapore; DOB 14 Feb 1977; Gender Male; Secondary sanctions risk: North Korea Sanctions Regulations, sections 510.201 and 510.210; Director of Wee Tiong (S) Pte Ltd; Managing Director of WT Marine Pte Ltd (individual) [DPRK].
The following entities have been added to OFAC's SDN List:
WEE TIONG (S) PTE LTD (a.k.a. WEE TIONG S PTE LTD), 1813 Geylang Bahru, #01-01 Kallang Distripark 339715, Singapore; 64D Kallang Pudding Road, #02-00, Wee Tiong Building 349323, Singapore; 02-00 Wee Tiong Building, 64D, Kallang Pudding Road 349323, Singapore; 1805 Geylang Bahru #01-03 339711, Singapore; Secondary sanctions risk: North Korea Sanctions Regulations, sections 510.201 and 510.210; Registration Number 199308567K [DPRK].
WT MARINE PTE LTD, #11-09 Parkway Parade 449269, Singapore; 64D Kallang Pudding Road, #09-00 Wee Tiong Building 349323, Singapore; Secondary sanctions risk: North Korea Sanctions Regulations, sections 510.201 and 510.210; Registration Number 201616714Z [DPRK].
The following vessels have been added to OFAC's SDN List:
JW JEWEL Singapore flag; Secondary sanctions risk: North Korea Sanctions Regulations, sections 510.201 and 510.210; Vessel Registration Identification IMO 9402964 (vessel) [DPRK] (Linked To: WT MARINE PTE LTD).
NYMEX STAR Singapore flag; Secondary sanctions risk: North Korea Sanctions Regulations, sections 510.201 and 510.210; Vessel Registration Identification IMO 9078191 (vessel) [DPRK] (Linked To: WT MARINE PTE LTD).
Photo credit: FBI
Published: 26 October, 2018
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