Russia has established an “improvised banking system” in South Ossetia that it uses to circumvent sanctions and support breakaway states within the former republics of Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova.  South Ossetia has become a focus of illicit financing as Russia uses the region to contravene sanctions imposed by the US and EU against doing business […]

The DPRK’s Lazarus hacking group used malware to infect servers controlling ATMs, allowing the group to withdraw cash. While the group is believed to act on behalf of the state, some reports suggest that the group is now primarily motivated by profit. The group is believed to have been behind the Bangladesh central bank heist […]

The US Department of the Treasury has imposed sanctions against Singapore-based companies and their director for evading sanctions targeting North Korea.  Tan Wee Beng, the director and shareholder of a Singapore-based commodities trading company Wee Tiong Holdings is accused of hiding the origin of payments and structuring transactions in order to help acquire goods for […]

Cyber actors are reported to have committed financial crimes on behalf of North Korea, raising money for the country’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs. DPRK is believed to have generated $1.1 billion from this activity, and $100 million in 2014 alone. In February 2016, the country’s cyber actors executed a cyber attack on the SWIFT […]

According to a recent article, DPRK is increasingly using cryptocurrencies to evade sanctions and gain access to foreign currency, specifically US dollars. Previous reports have indicated that North Korea has stolen cryptocurrency as part of its efforts to evade international sanctions. Lourdes Miranda and Ross Delston have stated that North Korea is creating its own […]

Several companies have been designated by the US Department of the Treasury for their role in helping North Korea fund its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles programs.  DPRK is believed to have earned revenues from overseas information technology workers, and some of those funds have helped finance North Korea’s proliferation activities.  One DPRK operative used […]

The US designated 4 companies and individuals for assisting Divetechnoservices, a Russian sanctioned entity, to evade sanctions. The companies and individuals provided a number of services to Divetechnoservices. The sanctioned individuals and entities are:   Vela-Marine Ltd. Marina Igorevna Tsareva  Anton Aleksandrovich Nagibin Lacno S.R.O.  Lacno was sanctioned for attempting to facilitate a payment of […]

The US has designated several companies involved in helping North Korea evade sanctions and finance its WMD programs. Dalian Sun Moon Star International Logistics Trading Co. and its Singapore-based affiliate Sinsms Pte. Ltd are the subjects of new sanctions. They are reported to have used falsified shipping documents to facilitate the shopping of  alcohol, tobacco […]

North Korea is believed to have illegally imported coal and iron into South Korea by transhipping it through Russia, according to recent reports. According to South Korea, approximately $6 million worth of coal and pig iron illegally entered their ports last year from North Korea, potentially in violation of UN sanctions. Three local companies were […]

Effectively implementing sanctions against North Korea has been a difficult proposition. Despite sanctions, North Korea continues to raise foreign exchange to pay for imports from China. Part of the reason for this difficulty is that the country’s trade and finance networks operate unofficially, largely outside the detection capabilities of regulators, which in turn is partly due to […]

The DPRK uses a variety of schemes to circumvent sanctions and obtain the goods and services it requires. Recent reports reveal the details of one such procurement network in Malaysia. North Korean operatives abroad are known to engage in international trade in order to generate cash and obtain goods. Ri Jong Chol was one such […]

On 15 May 2018, the US Department of the Treasury‘s Office of Foreign Asset Control announced new sanctions against the governor of the Central Bank of Iran, the chairman and CEO of Al-Bilad Bank (Iraq), and a Hizballah financier. According to OFAC, Valiollah Seif, the governor of the Central Bank of Iran facilitated the movement […]

On 16 May 2018, Turkey’s state-controlled bank Halkbank’s deputy general manager (Mehmet Hakan Atilla) was sentenced following a January 2018 conviction for helping Iran evade US sanctions. He helped Iran spend oil money abroad using fake gold and food transactions as cover. The central figure in the scheme was a Turkish-Iranian gold trader  (Reza Zarrab) […]

The relationship between Credit Bank Moscow PJSC and Rosneft has become very close. Last year, Rosneft placed 22 billion rubles (~ $355 million US) in long-term deposits at the bank that do not come due until 2066, shoring up the bank’s capital at a time when it’s stability was in question. Rosneft is now one […]

On 11 May 2018, the US and the UAE announced that they had jointly taken action to disrupt a currency exchange network that facilitated financing for the IRGC-QF. The entities in question used their access to exchanges in the UAE to acquire US dollars that the IRGC-QF used to fund and arm its regional proxy […]