- The Washington Times - Friday, August 30, 2019

The Trump administration on Friday slapped sanctions on two Taiwan-based individuals and several shipping companies for providing oil shipments to North Korea in violation of U.N. sanctions.

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control also identified one vessel as “blocked property” after engaging in ship-to-ship transfers of oil to North Korean vessels.

“Treasury will implement and enforce existing U.S. and U.N. sanctions on individuals, entities, and vessels involved in illicit ship-to-ship transfers with North Korean flagged vessels,” said Treasury Undersecretary Sigal Mandelker. “Shipping companies trading with North Korea are exposing themselves to significant sanctions risk, despite the deceptive practices they try to employ.”

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The administration’s action freezes any U.S. assets of the individuals and companies and could expose other companies doing business with them to further sanctions.

OFAC designated Taiwan-based individuals Huang Wang Ken and Chen Mei Hsiang and the Taiwan-based firms Jui Pang Shipping Co. Ltd. and Jui Zong Ship Management Co. Ltd., as well as Hong Kong-based Jui Cheng Shipping Company Limited, for having engaged in at least one significant shipment to North Korea.

Treasury said the U.S. is “grateful for Taiwan’s continued efforts” to combat North Korea’s efforts to evade sanctions “and to obtain resources for its WMD and missile programs.”

OFAC said ship-to-ship transfers at sea, rather than delivering a product in port, “is a deceptive practice commonly used by North Korea to enable sanctions evasion.”

In a statement, Treasury said the vessel Shang Yuan Bao conducted at least two ship-to-ship transfers in 2018 with North Korean-flagged vessels, which later offloaded their cargo in North Korea’s port of Nampo.

“Between April and May 2018, Huang Wang Ken, the CEO and largest shareholder in Jui Pang, a Taiwan marine cargo handling company, worked with several other individuals to use the Panama-flagged vessel Shang Yuan Bao to transport 1.7 million liters of petroleum products to the U.N.- and U.S.-designated North Korea-flagged vessel Paek Ma through an STS transfer,” Treasury said.

Mr. Huang and his partners “falsely reported that the petroleum products were destined for the Philippines,” the statement said.

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