Action Targets a Company and Four Individuals Facilitating Transactions for Designated North Korean Entity
WASHINGTON – Today the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated one company and four individuals tied to the Government of North Korea’s proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Specifically, OFAC imposed sanctions on Dandong Hongxiang Industrial Development Company Ltd (DHID) for acting for or on behalf of Korea Kwangson Banking Corporation (KKBC), which was previously designated by the United States and the United Nations for providing financial services in support of WMD proliferators. OFAC also designated Ma Xiaohong, Zhou Jianshu, Hong Jinhua, and Luo Chuanxu for acting for or on behalf of DHID.
These designations were made pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13382, which targets WMD proliferators and their supporters. As a result of today’s action, any property or interests in property of DHID, Ma Xiaohong, Zhou Jianshu, Hong Jinhua, and Luo Chuanxu in the possession or control of U.S. persons or within the United States are blocked. Additionally, U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions involving these designated persons.
In a related action, today the U.S. Department of Justice unsealed criminal charges against DHID, Ma Xiaohong, Zhou Jianshu, Hong Jinhua, and Luo Chuanxu for conspiring to evade U.S. economic sanctions and violating OFAC’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferators Sanctions Regulations as well as conspiracy to launder money instruments. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Justice announced the filing of a civil forfeiture action for all funds contained in 25 bank accounts belonging to DHID and its front companies and a request for a restraining order to be sent to China for all of the funds based upon the allegation of the United States that the funds represent property involved in money laundering.
“Today’s action exposes a key illicit network supporting North Korea’s weapons proliferation,” said Adam J. Szubin, acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. “DHID and its employees sought to evade U.S. and UN sanctions, facilitating access to the U.S. financial system by a designated entity. Treasury will take forceful action to pressure North Korea’s proliferation network and to protect the U.S. financial system from abuse.”
OFAC designated China-based DHID for acting for or on behalf of North Korean-based KKBC. Specifically, DHID used an illicit network of front companies, financial facilitators, and trade representatives to facilitate transactions on behalf of KKBC. Ma Xiaohong, Zhou Jianshu, Hong Jinhua, and Luo Chuanxu were designated for acting for or on behalf of DHID.
KKBC was designated by OFAC under E.O. 13382 and the UN pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2270 for providing financial services in support of the previously designated entities Tanchon Commercial Bank and the Korea Hyoksin Trading Corporation. Both of those entities were designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 and UNSCR 1718 for their roles in North Korea’s WMD and missile programs.
For identifying information on the individuals and entity designated today, click here.