North Korea has ‘laundered’ its coal through Russian ports, contravening UN sanctions. The DPRK is suspected of having shipped coal to a port in Russia, and departed with, at least in part, Russian coal, in what is described as a sanctions-busting scheme. The scheme appears to also have been facilitated by the use of front companies, as well as Chinese-owned ships flagged in Panama and Togo. The report further suggest that some North Korean coal was sold to South Korea.

Analysis: In this scheme, moving a sanctioned commodity and comingling it the same commodity from another country not under sanction appears to have effectively circumvented international sanctions. The only question that remains is what companies and individuals were involved, and can the money trail be followed?

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  1. […] DPRK uses a variety of schemes to circumvent sanctions and obtain the goods and services it requires. Recent reports reveal the […]


  2. […] ballistic missile technology to Syria and Myanmar. To a lesser extent, the country also relies on coal sales to generate foreign […]


  3. […] of methods to evade sanctions and raise money for its illicit programs, including the export of coal through Russia, cryptocurrency theft, and probably many other smaller schemes. However, Russia and China play a […]



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illicit financing, sanctions evasion, Uncategorized


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