U.N. Blacklists 27 Ships for Sanctions-Busting

Image courtesy U.S. Treasury Dept.

By The Maritime Executive 04-02-2018 08:08:00

On Friday, the U.N. Security Council added 27 ships to its blacklist for alleged involvement in North Korean smuggling, including 12 vessels owned outside of the DPRK. The resolution contains the largest new list of U.N.-designated vessels yet, and it includes much more detail than previous announcements. 

The non-North Korean ships affected include the freighters Asia Bridge 1, Xin Guang Hai, Hua Fu, Dong Feng 6, Hao Fan 2, Hao Fan 6 and Fan Ke and the tankers Yuk Tung, Koti, Jin Hye, Wan Heng 11 and Min Ning De You 078. Many of these vessels were named in an earlier American announcement regarding sanctions violations. The resolution calls for these 12 ships to be de-flagged by their registries and banned from all ports in U.N. member states (effectively all ports worldwide).

The new sanctions designations cover many of these vessels' managers as well. Among other allegations, the operators of the Xin Guang Hai, Hao Fan 2, Hao Fan 6, Dong Feng 6 and Asia Bridge 1 stand accused of loading North Korean coal for export in violation of U.N. sanctions. Where details are available, the tankers' operators were allegedly involved in high-seas ship-to-ship petroleum transfers designed to circumvent sanctions restrictions. 

The only individual listed, Taiwanese national Tsang Yung Yuan, is accused of arranging both oil and coal transactions. His firm, Kingly Won, allegedly attempted to make an oil deal worth over $1 million to illicitly transfer fuel to North Korea. In addition, the related company Pro-Gain Group was allegedly involved in illicit shipments of North Korean coal. 

“The approval of this historic sanctions package is a clear sign that the international community is united in our efforts to keep up maximum pressure on the North Korean regime," said U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley in a statement. "We want to thank the members of the Security Council, as well as Japan and South Korea, for working with us to keep up the pressure and for their commitment to implementing UN Security Council resolutions and holding violators accountable."