OFAC designates shipping network for aiding North Korea
On August 30, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced additions to the Specially Designated Nationals List pursuant to Executive Order 13810. The additions identify two Taiwanese individuals and three entities, as well as one Hong Kong-based vessel identified as blocked property, for allegedly facilitating the delivery of fuel originally intended for the Philippines to North Korean vessels via ship-to-ship transfers. According to OFAC, the additions highlight “North Korea’s continued use of illicit ship-to-ship (STS) transfers to circumvent United Nations . . . sanctions that restrict the import of petroleum products, as well as the U.S. Government’s commitment to implement existing UN Security Council Resolutions.” As a result of the sanctions, “all property and interests in property of these individuals and entities that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC.” OFAC noted that its regulations “generally prohibit” U.S. persons from participating in transactions with the designated persons, and warned foreign financial institutions that if they knowingly facilitate significant transactions for any of the designated individuals, they may be subject to U.S. correspondent account or payable-through account sanctions.