More than 22 North Korean bankers accused of implementing a $ 2.5 billion money laundering plan

More than 22 North Korean bankers accused of implementing a $ 2.5 billion money laundering plan

Twenty-eight North Korean citizens faced a series of allegations related to bank fraud, money laundering and criminal enterprises. This appeared to be the first case against members of the North Korean financial system.

The 50-page indictment was signed in February and opened in the Federal Court of Washington, DC, on Thursday morning, which details the behind-the-scenes company and “branch of a state-owned enterprise bank standing in a foreign country, including China. “network of. Russia helps to circumvent international restrictions on the regime ’s ability to spend globally. Five Chinese citizens were also prosecuted.

Allegedly, the plan began in 2013 after the United States and other world powers imposed years of escalating sanctions against North Korea. The sanctions were designed to stop the country ’s growing weapons capabilities and weaken its economy. The Ministry of Justice accused the central bank of the National Foreign Trade Bank of the Democratic People ’s Republic of Korea, the main financial institution in South Korea, and was designated as a blocked entity by the US Treasury in 2013.

The indictment said that the bank in Pyongyang sent the defendants to countries such as Russia, China, Thailand, Libya, Austria and Kuwait, where they settled and operated new secret branches and more than 250 cutting-edge companies.

Prosecutors said that from there, they worked with “third-party financial service providers to purchase goods on behalf of North Korean parties and facilitate payments in US dollars”.

The indictment stated: “The defendant and other co-conspirators concealed (foreign trade bank) dollar payments from the correspondent bank in order to induce the bank to process payments that could not have been made.”

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