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Japanese Bank Mitsubishi Skirts North Korea Sanctions With Incorrect Application to US OCC

By Matthew Russell Lee, No Notice Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, November 16 – Amid talk of increased enforcement of sanctions on North Korea, and possible imposition of new sanctions against Myanmar, a November 13 letter from the New York State Department of Financial Services cites Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi for “continuing compliance failures in Hong Kong, which has a 'repeat transaction' program for certain high risk clients in Chinese cities bordering North Korea. The repeat transaction program results in not more but less scrutiny of these clients transactions.” The NYSDFS letter also notes that BTMU has processed transaction through its New York branch for “Burmese parties” on the OFAC sanctions list. How did Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi react to the New York regulator's investigation of these issues? It applied on October 30 to switch to the more lax Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and had its application approved in a mere week, then threw the state regulators out of its New York branch on Sixth Avenue. All this just a few blocks from the United Nations whose Security Council, on which Japan has a seat until the end of the year, has imposed rounds of sanctions on North Korea for its nuclear weapons program, and is set to vote for a new UN Special Envoy on Myanmar, or Burma, on November 16. What's going on? Now Inner City Press can exclusively report a further outrage, not included in the NYSDFS letter nor a Wall Street Journal article which quoted it. The OCC gave its approval in a week even while belatedly listing Bank of Tokyo - Mitsubishi's filings under "THESE APPLICATIONS APPEARED INCORRECTLY IN A PRIOR WEEKLY BULLETIN." The public, as is the trend under the OCC, was cut out. The face savings compliance agreement, here, does not cure or address this. The OCC is lax not only in sanctions compliance and absurdly short comment periods on corporate applications - it also markets itself to banks as being “flexible” on other compliance issues including the U.S. Community Reinvestment Act. Recently the OCC announced that even a rare less than satisfactory CRA rating would not bar approval of a bank's application, click here for that Inner City Press coverage. A new Comptroller, Joseph Otting formerly of OneWest Bank, is set to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate this week, even while the OCC has refused to answer a pending Press (and CRC) request under the Freedom of Information Act. What will a FOIA request into the OCC's communications with Bank of Tokyo - Mitsubishi yield? Watch this site. The UN, which routinely lies about such matters of corruption of its officials by businessmen like now-convicted Ng Lap Seng, and its knowledge of the extensive killing and abuse in the Anglophone areas of Cameroon, won't even answer publicly when it employs a North Korea plant in its Department of Political Affairs. Repeatedly this year Inner City Press has asked the UN to confirm or deny and provide any updates on the acceptance by DPA of a North Korea “Junior Professional Officer.” Inner City Press even asked now-gone Under Secretary General Wu Hongbo. But even after DPA under lameduck chief Jeffrey Feltman accepted the North Korean JPO, on October 12 Antonio Guterres' spokesman for the day, when asked “can you confirm a North Korean was appointed to a low-level spot in DPA,” said flatly, No. But multiple sources tell Inner City Press that the North Korean JPO is in DPA's electoral unit - and now, exclusively, that his name is Kim Joo Sung and that he is the son of a Worker's Party official. After exclusively publishing this, Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric, who now confirmed there is a North Korean JPO in, he think, DPA elections unit. But Dujarric said he has no clue of the name and wouldn't comment on his "ancestors." Whether a North Korea JPO in UN's Political Affairs is the son of a Party official is relevant. DPA's spokesman Jose Luis Diaz previously refused to respond to Inner City Press' inquiry about Jeff Feltman staying on at DPA in order for his UN pension to vest. It's time to clean house, including in light of the UN's shameful failure on Cameroon. Jose Luis Diaz' former employer Amnesty International has reported on (some of) the abuses in Cameroon, when UN DPA where he works just helps cover up. There must be something in the UN water. We'll have more on this - watch this site.


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