U.S. judge orders Chinese banks to hand over North Korea records
01 May 2019

A U.S district judge has ordered three Chinese banks to comply with U.S. investigators’ demands that they hand over records connected to the alleged movement of tens of millions of dollars in violation of international sanctions on North Korea.

In a heavily redacted court opinion released by the U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday and dated March 18, Beryl Howell, Washington D.C.’s chief federal district judge, said the subpoenas were for records of dealings between a now-defunct Hong Kong-based front company and a North Korean state-run entity.

The publicly released court document did not name the banks, the Hong Kong company, or the North Korean entity. It said the front company was established by a North Korean national and a Chinese individual, who were also not named.

It said the Chinese government had ownership stakes in all three of the banks, the first two of which have branches in the United States.

The subpoenas were issued in December 2017 as part of a U.S. investigation into violations of sanctions targeting North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, including money laundering and contravention of the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act.

By David Brunnstrom, Mark Hosenball and Makini Brice, Reuters, 30 April 2019

Read more at Reuters

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