US imposes sanctions related to North Korea on Singapore firms

WASHINGTON • The US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on two Singapore-based companies and a man accused of money laundering through the US financial system to evade sanctions against North Korea, the department said in a statement yesterday.

The United States said the person targeted by sanctions, Tan Wee Beng, 41, a director and shareholder of a Singapore-based commodities trading company, Wee Tiong Holdings, hid the origins of payments and structured transactions to fulfil millions of dollars in North Korean contracts since at least 2011.

The Treasury Department also imposed sanctions on two vessels tied to a different company for which Tan is a managing director, and which the United States says engaged in illicit economic activity connected to North Korea.

The Justice Department unsealed criminal charges against Tan, the Treasury said.

Tan was charged with bank fraud, money laundering and defrauding the United States, according to an FBI notice. The arrest warrant was issued for Tan in August.

The Treasury Department also imposed sanctions on two vessels tied to a different company for which Tan Wee Beng is a managing director, and which the United States says engaged in illicit economic activity connected to North Korea.

A representative for Wee Tiong Holdings did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 26, 2018, with the headline 'US imposes sanctions related to N. Korea on S'pore firms'. Print Edition | Subscribe