LESSON FROM INVESTIGATING COVERT OIL DELIVERIES TO NORTH KOREA

An article and video report from the New York Times on 22 March saying that North Korea continues to illicitly import oil, in violation of strict international sanctions.  It says that reporters across Asia spent 6 months tracking several of the tankers involved in some of these covert oil transfers, unravelling a murky corporate network that connects to a Singapore-headquartered major oil trader called the Winson Group.  It centres on the movement of a single (sanctioned) tanker, which reveals the lack of sanctions enforcement.  It criticises the opaque ownership structures seen in shipping, saying that it is not always easy to ascertain who’s behind the tankers involved in international oil deliveries.  Shipping data often lists conflicting information. Many shipping companies also use private leasing agreements that are rarely captured on ship-tracking websites. Additionally, many companies that The Times investigated were registered in offshore, secrecy jurisdictions that mask ownership information.  It also considers evasion techniques employed by ships.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/22/world/winson-north-korea-oil-tankers.html

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Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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