The U.S. Department of Justice has filed charges against 28 North Korean citizens and five Chinese for belonging to a money laundering network that was alleged to have moved $ 2.5 billion to violate the North American country’s sanctions.
The document, signed in February and published on Thursday, also accuses these people of bank fraud. It also describes a network of cover companies and “hedging branches” of the North Korean Foreign Trade Bank, the country’s leading financial institution, which the US Treasury classified as blocked in 2013.
According to the Department of Justice, these companies and branches of the above-mentioned bank have been opened in various countries, such as China and Russia, to circumvent the international restrictions on the North Korean state’s ability to spend money internationally.
According to reports, the accused was sent by the Pyongyang-based bank to countries such as Russia, China, Thailand, Libya, Austria and Kuwait, where more than 250 people lived and worked in the companies.