An investigation by RUSI (the Royal United Services Institute) and The Times suggests that UK shell companies are used to disguise a network of commercial cargo vessels exporting North Korean coal in violation of UN and EU sanctions.
The investigation found that in January 2019, a British-owned vessel named the Lucky Star was captured with satellite and aerial photography loading coal in Nampo, a North Korean port, having deactivated its tracking system. The vessel and 3 other ships (Asia Bridge, Xin Guang Hai, and Surplus Ocean 1) are owned by UK front companies, registered at ‘unit’ addresses in London. Lucky’s Star’s director is a Burmese national, the owners and operators are based in China. Hugh Griffiths, the former co-ordinator of the UN panel of experts on N Korea, criticised the British authorities’ “very limited legislative function, remit or resources” to oversee such companies domiciled in the UK.
Michael was called to the Bar in 1992 and prior to joining Peters & Peters was a senior specialist prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service Headquarters (CPS). He was a key member of a small specialist unit responsible for the prosecution of serious and high-profile fraud, terrorist,...See profile for Michael O'Kane >