US INDICTS NOKOR BANKERS FOR EVADING SANCTIONS

The US Justice Department has accused North Korea’s state-owned bank of evading sanctions and charged 28 North Koreans and five Chinese citizens before a US court.

In a story written by David Shepardson and Daphne Psaledakis for Reuters on May 29, 2020, the grand jury indictment made public on Thursday accused North Korea’s Foreign Trade Bank (FTB) of conspiring with the employees charged to cause other banks “to process at least $2.5 billion in illegal payments via over 250 front companies.”

The US blacklisted the FTB in 2013 and the UN Security Council followed suit in 2017.

The indictment adds to friction between Washington and Pyongyang after denuclearization talks launched by US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un stalled. The indictment is the largest of any North Korea sanctions violations case, a US law enforcement official said. The alleged crimes include money laundering and bank fraud.

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