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Exclusive II: Amid Sanctions, UN Let N Korea Take EUR 4M from Sputnik Bank, "Unauthorized Person"

By Matthew Russell Lee, Full Exclusive, Video

UNITED NATIONS, February 21 –In the face of North Korea sanctions, the UN in December 2017 used the sanctioned Foreign Trade Bank and Russia's Sputnik Bank to release EUR 3,974,920.62 into the country, documents obtained by Inner City Press show.

  On February 21, Inner City Press asked the Dutch chair of the UN Security Council's 1718 Sanctions commitee about the exemption. He refused to comment, saying the issue did not come up in the meeting he had just exited. Video here.

  But a letter from Sputnik Bank stated that "unauthorized person (I.V. Tonkih) led  negotiations with Korean party on interbank correspondent relationship." Photos here. , more documents in PDF now published on Patreon, here.

  In 2017 then-chairman of the UN Security Council's 1718 / North Korea sanctions committee Sebastiano Cardi of Italy informed Sputnik Bank to release the nearly EUR 4 million to the Foreign Trade Bank - the very entity for dealing with Latvia's ABLV Bank has been sanctioned by the United States.

   Previously, Cardi by letter had, according to UN Resient Coordinator Tapan Mishra, neglected to "make clear reference to the need for cash withdrawal." The Treasurer of the UN Development Program Paul Gravanese then asked Cardi for wider authorization for FTB to withdraw funds. This only concerned the third quarter of 2017 - what has been done since? The new chairman declined to say.

  Others say, the UN has fixed nothing, sweeps everything uner the rug.  Earlier this month when Inner City Press asked if the Committee's rulings on request for exemptions, and the underlying requests themselves, are placed on the Committee's website or otherwise made public. The answer was and is no.  Inner City Press will have more on this exclusive story.  There are also violations by Japanese companies, like Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, as Inner City Press has reported. It is facts chucked or thrown, rather than fact checked.


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