May 02, 2019 12:18
A U.S. court has given a final warning to three Chinese banks accused of transacting tens of millions of dollars for North Korea to submit their financial records.
According to Reuters on Tuesday, Washington's chief federal district judge ordered the three banks to submit extensive transaction records with a Hong Kong-based company identified only as "A." The names of the banks were not disclosed.
Company A was established jointly by an anonymous North Korean citizen and a Chinese national. The court suspects the Chinese banks of laundering US$100 million for North Korea that was used to fund the renegade country’s nuclear weapons program.
The Chinese banks are all state-owned, and two of them have branches in the U.S. If they are found guilty, they could see their accounts in the U.S. frozen as part of a secondary boycott.
U.S. authorities issued official notices to the three Chinese banks in December of 2017 to submit financial records, and Justice Department officials even flew to China in April and August of last year to demand them when the banks refused to comply.
The department finally filed the lawsuit last November of 2018.
Meanwhile, Stephen Biegun, the U.S. special representative for North Korea, will visit Seoul around May 8-10 to attend a working group meeting with the South Korean government.
The last working group meeting took place in Washington on March 14.
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