US blacklists Singapore shipping firm over arms smuggling

July 24, 2015 09:49
The US also added the cargo vessel Dawnlight to its blacklist. Photo:

The United States has blacklisted a Singapore-based shipping company for allegedly supporting a North Korean firm accused of illicit weapon shipments.

The US Treasury Department announced financial sanctions against Senat Shipping Co. and the company’s president, Leonard Lai, the Guardian reported.

The vessel Dawnlight, in which the firm has an interest, was also sanctioned.

US citizens are prohibited from doing business with entities on the blacklist.

The Treasury Department said Senat had ties to a North Korean firm, Ocean Maritime Management Co. (OMMC), that operated a ship seized by Panamanian authorities in 2013 for carrying undeclared military equipment from Cuba hidden under a load of sugar.

The department alleged Senat arranged the purchase, repair, certification and crewing of vessels for OMMC.

“Arms shipments transported by OMMC serve as a key resource for North Korea’s ongoing proliferation activities. Sales from these shipments contribute to North Korea’s other illicit programs,” a government spokesman said in a statement.

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