July 23, 2010 10:35
The U.S. will freeze North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's overseas secret bank accounts based on a tip-off from a whistleblower at a state-run bank in Liechtenstein in 2006-2007.
The August issue of the Monthly Chosun said since the North's attack on the South Korean Navy corvette Cheonan in March, speculation has been rife among North Korea experts in Washington that the Obama administration will freeze Kim Jong-il's secret accounts in Liechtenstein and Switzerland.
The tip-off from Heinrich Kieber, a former employee of LGT Bank, which is owned by the Liechtenstein royal family, contributed decisively to the U.S. obtaining information about Kim's secret accounts. According to the U.S. Senate, Kieber said the "head of department in a socialist government" wanted to deposit more than US$5 million "with no explanation in the files whatever in regard to the source of the vast amount."
The U.S. recently signed a tax information exchange agreement with Liechtenstein which could allow it to freeze bank accounts suspected of belonging to Kim.
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