Russian-affiliated firms blacklisted for North Korea activities in Singapore

Two companies in Singapore with North Korea trade ties are under investigation, Channel News Asia reported Thursday.


The two firms, Transatlantic Partners and Velmur Management, are targets of unilateral U.S. sanctions and now face penalties from Singapore, according to Singapore’s ministry of foreign affairs.
“Singapore will strictly fulfill its obligations under the United Nation Security Council Resolutions and international law, and not allow our financial system to be abused for the conduct of illicit activities,” the foreign ministry said.

The U.S. Treasury is also blacklisting three Russians, Mikhail Pisklin, Andrey Serbin and Irina Huish, for abetting North Korea’s illicit development of nuclear weapons.

A total of 10 firms and six individuals are being sanctioned for violations.

Singapore’s foreign ministry said it was notified of the U.S. plan to blacklist Transatlantic Partners and Velmur Management ahead of the announcement this week.

Pisklin, who is affiliated with Transatlantic, may have assisted North Korea’s Daesong Credit Development Bank in its purchase of fuel oil.

Huish, the executive director of Velmur, helped North Korea purchase gas oil, and worked with Serbin, who also worked at Transatlantic.

Huish worked with Transatlantic to bypass economic sanctions that are being imposed against Pyongyang, according to the Treasury.

“Both of these companies have attempted to use the U.S. financial system to send millions of dollars in payments on behalf of North Korea-related transactions,” the Treasury has said.

By Elizabeth Shim