An assessed stash of undisclosed bank reports offers a distinctive look into how North Korea, and other rebel actors, move illegal money across fringes despite international deterrence intended to obstruct Pyongyang’s access to the global financial system.
According to an American broadcast television network, which examined confidential bank documents, North Korea did an intricate illegal tax avoidance conspiracy for quite a long time. They utilized a line of shell organizations and help from Chinese firms, moving cash through well-known banks in New York.
“The documents you have in front of you, I think help explain why the North Koreans have been so successful at sanction evasion. What you have is gold dust because so few journalists, or investigators generally, get access to banking internal compliance documentation.”
Hugh Griffiths, former head of the U.N. Panel of Experts
According to a news report, the records were essential for a gigantic break of dubious action reports (SARs) documented with the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen). The information uncovered a substantial effort by North Korean authorities to launder at least $174 million for several years through central U.S. banks such as JPMorgan Chase, utilizing various shell organizations and once in a while helped by Chinese organizations.
“Taken as a whole, you have what really, frankly, looks like a concerted attack by the North Koreans to access the U.S. financial system over an extended period of time through multiple different avenues in ways that were fairly sophisticated.”
Former Treasury Department Official Eric Lorber
Officials of the Treasury Department would not comment on the data uncovered in the SARs when reached by the news organization, considering that it had handed over the issue to the Justice Department. The agency explained, “as FinCEN has stated previously, the unauthorized disclosure of SARs is a crime that can impact the national security of the United States, compromise law enforcement investigations, and threaten the safety and security of the institutions and individuals who file such reports,” quoted in a news report.
“We acknowledged in that 2014 report that our existing AML controls needed improvement, and have since devoted considerable resources to comply with the laws and regulations governing anti-money laundering, terrorist financing, and economic sanctions. Today, thousands of employees and hundreds of millions of dollars are devoted to supporting law enforcement and national security effort.”
JP Morgan’s statement