North Korea is dodging sanctions with fish and front firms in Mozambique
On the surface, there is nothing remarkable about this sleepy fishing port in Maputo, APA reports quoting CNN
But hidden from view, wedged between the other boats and ships docked there, are the rusty Susan 1 and Susan 2. These are not ordinary fishing vessels, but sanctions-busting trawlers manned by crews from North Korea.
Pyongyang's interest in a couple of aging African trawlers may seem odd at first. But fishing is big business in Mozambique -- it's one of the country's most lucrative industries. North Korea wants a slice of that much-needed cash, and boats are easy to move and conceal.
Joint fishing ventures are just one area of illicit trade the two countries are engaged in. In a months-long investigation, CNN uncovered a secret web of front companies, military cooperation and elite-forces training deals between North Korea and Mozambique, all in violation of international sanctions, according to United Nations investigators.
Documents reviewed by CNN show that the cooperation is sealed with illegal contracts worth millions of dollars. The money is funneled through regionally based North Korean diplomats to Pyongyang, some 7,500 miles away.
US officials have long maintained that the money from ventures like this goes straight into North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's notorious nuclear slush fund, known as Office 39.
With crippling sanctions squeezing the pariah state, Kim needs hard currency to further develop his nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
The Trump administration wants to stop the money flowing. Tougher UN and US sanctions, sustained pressure on China and executive orders are all part of Washington's playbook to squeeze North Korea.
The plan, so far, doesn't appear to be working.
North Korea earned nearly $200 million by exporting coal and other banned commodities between January and September 2017 in violation of UN sanctions, according to an unpublished UN report.
The report, sections of which have been obtained by CNN, found that North Korea "is already flouting the most recent resolutions by exploiting global oil supply chains, complicit foreign nationals, offshore company registries and the international banking system."
The report is still confidential and has been sent to the UN Security Council sanctions committee on North Korea.
Related news releases
- 27.05.2018Over 40 improvised bombs destroyed at Syria’s Yarmouk camp
- 27.05.2018Israel airstrikes target Hamas positions in Gaza
- 26.05.2018Bombs target Iraq communist party headquarters
- 25.05.2018IAEA report confirms Iran's commitment to nuclear agreement
- 25.05.2018North Korea says it's still willing to meet with Trump
- 25.05.2018Over 185 undocumented migrants held in western Turkey
- 24.05.2018Syrian state media says U.S. struck army base, U.S. denies
- 24.05.2018At least four killed, 15 wounded in Baghdad bomb blast
- 24.05.2018N Korean FM: Trump-Kim Summit Depends on 'US Behavior
- 24.05.2018Iran leader blasts U.S. for 'theatrical' pullout from nuclear deal
- 23.05.2018Iran's Zarif calls Pompeo's comments 'untrue', based on 'old illusions': state TV
- 23.05.2018Israeli air strikes target boat moored in Gaza
- 23.05.2018North Korea allows South Korea reporters to visit nuclear site
- 23.05.2018Saudi Arabia expands crackdown on women's rights activists
- 23.05.2018Iraqi PM rules out fresh polls amid rigging allegations
- 22.05.2018Iran ‘ready to return to pre-nuke deal era’: Official
- 22.05.2018Airstrike neutralizes 6 PKK terrorists in E. Turkey
- 22.05.20182 Turkish soldiers martyred in northern Iraq
- 22.05.2018Over 60 die of heatstroke in Pakistan's largest city
- 21.05.2018Palestine’s Abbas to leave hospital soon: PLO official
- 21.05.2018Vietnam says Chinese bombers in disputed South China Sea increase tensions
- 21.05.2018Iran's presence in Syria at Damascus' demand: Tehran
- 20.05.2018South Korea's LG Group chairman dies at 73
- 20.05.2018Mushrooms Poison Hundreds in Iran
- 19.05.2018China to increase purchase of US goods to support employment in US - White House - UPDATED
- 19.05.2018Blasts at Afghan cricket match kill eight spectators
- 19.05.2018Blasts at Afghan sports stadium kill as many as eight-officials
- 19.05.2018Two North Koreans including a soldier defect to South Korea
- 18.05.2018Iran calls on Muslims to revise trade ties with U.S. after Jerusalem move
- 18.05.2018Saudi Arabia, UAE, Russia to discuss oil supplies following US withdrawal from JCPOA
- 18.05.2018Russia, Syria can start work to rebuild Syrian economy, says Putin
- 17.05.20185 suspected bombers killed in southwest Pakistan
- 16.05.2018Israel summons Turkey's charge d'affaires
- 16.05.2018Israel says Hamas curbed Gaza protests after Egyptian warning
- 16.05.2018Turkish parliament speaker: Gulf states should influence Trump in Palestinian issue
- 16.05.2018DPRK says not interested in negotiations that require only denuclearization - UPDATED
- 16.05.2018Seven dead, 30 feared trapped after part of flyover collapses in Indian city
- 16.05.2018Seoul regrets Pyongyang's decision to suspend high level inter-Korean talks
- 15.05.2018Iran wants guarantees from EU that JCPOA would be beneficial for It - Zarif
- 15.05.2018Israel asks Turkish envoy in Palestine to leave country
- 04.02.2018Tahrir Al-Sham claims responsibility for shooting down Russian SU-25
- 04.02.2018Palestine Liberation Organization calls for cutting ties with Israel
- 06.02.2018Maldives declares state of emergency as Yameen tightens grip on power
- 04.02.2018Attacks by Syrian regime in Idlib kill 16 civilians
- 04.02.2018Iran's FM: "US nuclear doctrine bringing humankind closer to annihilation"
- 03.02.2018Turkish soldier succumbs to wounds from PYD/PKK attack