UN: North Korea uses Hong Kong block chain company to launder money

As the South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported on 6 November, the committee conducted an investigation into the various strategies North Korea is using to circumvent sanctions with crypto currencies and other means.

 

Committee allegations

The Committee claims that “Marine China” – a Hong Kong-based transport and logistics company specializing in blockchain – was founded by North Korean players; the owner and sole investor is said to be a person named Julian Kim. The latter also operates under the code name “Tony Walker”.

 

Kim has appointed a second, unnamed person to manage the company. He is said to have tried several times to withdraw undisclosed sums of money from banks in Singapore.

North Korean secret services are also accused of training childhood cyber agents for future positions as hackers, who are then supposed to steal crypto currencies.

The investigation says that the crypto currencies stolen by North Korea in 2018 were converted into cash in at least 5,000 discrete transactions in several countries. This makes the money laundering activity “difficult to track”.

Hackers from the North are to use phishing methods to carry out precision attacks. In 2016, for example, there was an operation targeting the computer network of a bank in Bangladesh.

North Korea is believed to have carried out phishing attacks in seventeen countries in the last three years. The losses were estimated at up to 2 billion US dollars.

Hackers are also supposed to use malicious code to wash stolen Bitcoins (BTC) on a server at Kim Il-sung University in Pyongyang.