Singapore-based Senat Shipping and Trading and its owner Leonard Lai has been blacklisted by the United States for reportedly assisting in illicit arms shipments to North Korea.
The US Treasury said that Senat was co-operating with Ocean Maritime Management Company (OMMC), a North Korean firm already under UN sanctions.
The sanctions meant that any assets OMMC hold in the United States are frozen and US citizens are prohibited from doing business with the company.
IHS Maritime’s attempts to contact Senat for comments were unsuccessful as Lai is not in Singapore.
IHS Maritime’s Sea-web.com shows that Senat manages a 14,379 dwt Mongolia-flagged bulker, Dawnlight, which is operated by China Shipping Group.
In July 2013, Chong Chon Gang, a ship operated by OMMC was seized near the Panama Canal for hiding undeclared Soviet-era weapons and fighter jets under sugar sacks.
The US government claims Senat arranged the purchase, repair, certification, and crewing of vessels for OMMC.
The UN sanctions against North Korea and certain companies based there, came after the country executed nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.