An illicit shipment of coal by North Korea which breached United Nations sanctions reportedly has links to Australia.
Brigt Australia, a property company based in Sydney’s Haymarket area, has been named by UN investigators looking at sanction breaches, according to a report by Reuters. Business Insider has contacted the company for comment.
According to a Reuters report, quoting a confidential United Nations document by independent experts monitoring the implementation of sanctions, papers falsely stated that the shipment of coal had come from Russia when it had originated in North Korea.
The UN Security Council banned coal exports from North Korea in August last year.
“The case against a company with no apparent experience in trading coal illustrates how UN experts say North Korea is using a network of foreign traders and front companies to evade tough international sanctions aimed at choking off funding for Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs,” says the Reuters report.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) investigates breaches of sanctions under the Charter of the United Nations Act 1945 and the Autonomous Sanctions Act 2011.
“It is not appropriate for the AFP to provide details on the existence or otherwise of investigations into companies or individuals,” a spokesman told Business Insider.
The UN experts reported that North Korea violated sanctions to earn nearly $US200 million in 2017 from banned commodity exports.
Reports earlier this month revealed how North Korea “laundered” a coal shipment, transforming it into Russian coal which made the coal legitimate and easier to sell on the international market. Some of the coal ended up in South Korea and Japan.
The AFP in December last year arrested a 59-year-old Sydney man for allegedly acting as an economic agent for North Korea in breach of UN and Australian sanctions. The man has also been charged with brokering sales and discussing the supply of weapons of mass destruction.