The U.S. Justice Department indicted more than two dozen Koreans and five Chinese nationals for laundering billions of dollars to support North Korea’s nuclear program.
The indictments were reported Thursday, and the illegal payments totaled $2.5 billion.
The agents for North Korea’s Foreign Trade Bank (FTB) are accused of creating 250 front companies and fraudulent bank branches worldwide to launder the money through U.S. financial institutions.
“Through this indictment, the United States has signified its commitment to hampering North Korea’s ability to illegally access the U.S. financial system, and to limiting its ability to use proceeds from these illicit actions to enhance its illegal weapons of mass destruction program,” acting U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin said.
The indictments are important since North Korea has used money laundering schemes like this one to get around U.S. sanctions designed to prevent it from furthering its nuclear program.
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