By MarEx 2015-07-24 10:08:51
The US blacklisted Senat, a Singapore shipping firm, Thursday. The US Department of the Treasury believes Senat Shipping is supporting illicit arms shipments to North Korea. The blacklisting freezes any US assets held by Senat and its president, Leonard Lai. Senat Shipping denies the allegations.
The Department of Treasury alleges that Senat supported the Ocean Maritime Management Company (OMMC) in arranging a shipment of arms on the Chong Chon Gang ship that was seized in Panama in 2013. OMMC is a North Korean firm already under US sanctions. The Chong Chon Gang was seized for transporting undeclared military equipment from Cuba to North Korea under a cargo of sugar.
According to US authorities, Senat arranged the purchase, repair, certification and crew for the OMMC. Senat released the following statement: “The US Treasury’s move to put Senat and Leonard Lai on the OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) list is a misguided measure purely based on Senat’s historical dealings with OMM.”
Senat also contends that while they did have a relationship with North Korea in the past and did charter the Chong Chon Gang, the relationship was dissolved following the vessel’s seizure.
The Department of Treasury also alleges that OMMC operates through a variety of front companies and representative offices to evade sanctions.