A federal judge in New York issued a judgment of forfeiture on Friday allowing authorities to seize an oil tanker used to ferry petroleum to North Korea in violation of international sanctions, the Justice Department announced.
Federal prosecutors filed a forfeiture complaint against the 2,734-ton M/T Courageous tanker on April 23, which made illegal oil transfers to North Korea-flagged vessels and directly shipped products to the North Korean port of Nampo, according to court documents.
Conspirators used U.S. dollars and unwitting U.S. banks to purchase the tanker, to acquire other necessary services for it, and to purchase oil for supplying to North Korea, all in violation of U.S. law and United Nations Security Council resolutions, the Justice Department said.
Charges of conspiracy to evade the sanctions and money laundering are pending against Singaporean national Kwek Kee Seng, the alleged owner and operatorship, the Justice Department said. Kwek, who allegedly purchased the Courageous using front companies in order to evade sanctions and launder money, is still at large.
Cambodian authorities already had the M/T Courageous in their possession, having seized it in March 2020, and were holding it pursuant to a U.S. seizure warrant.
Judge Valerie Caproni of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York issued Friday's judgment of forfeiture.
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Original Author: Jeremy Beaman
Original Location: US seizes tanker shipping oil to North Korea in violation of sanctions