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U.S. Sanctions Russian-born S. African Who Helped North Korea Buy Oil

The U.S. Department of the Treasury imposed sanctions on Monday on the Russia-born, South African national Vladlen Amtchentsev, for having advised North Korea on how to evade U.S. sanctions.

The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is blocking any property or interests in property of Amtchentsev in the possession or control of U.S. persons or within or transiting the United States, and U.S. persons are prohibited from dealing with him.

Amtchentsev was designated for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the company Velmur Management Pte Ltd.

Singapore-based company Velmur was designated by the Treasury in August last year, when the U.S. announced sanctions on three Russian individuals and two Singapore-based companies involved in providing oil to North Korea. Velmur was one of the companies designated, while the other was Transatlantic Partners Pte Ltd.

According to the Treasury, Velmur was designated “for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Transatlantic.”

Transatlantic was found to have concluded a contract to buy fuel oil with Daesong Credit Development Bank, a North Korean bank designated in 2016, and Transatlantic and Velmur representatives also worked to buy gasoil for delivery to North Korea. Velmur also sold gasoil to North Korea.

“Both of these companies have attempted to use the U.S. financial system to send millions of dollars in payments on behalf of North Korea-related transactions,” the Treasury said in August 2017.

“North Korea depends upon the help of criminals and illicit actors to raise and transfer funds,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the Treasury’s press release on Monday.

“As part of our commitment to the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea, Treasury will continue to enforce and implement sanctions against any actor that seeks to aid the regime’s deceptive practices.”

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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