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Panamanian ship held in Busan for alleged ship-to-ship transfers of oil to N.K

Monday, 06 May 2019 | 00:00

A Panamanian-flagged ship has been held in South Korea’s southeastern port of Busan for alleged ship-to-ship transfers of oil to North Korea in violation of U.N. sanctions against Pyongyang, authorities said Saturday.

The 1,014-ton ship, Katrin, is suspected of illegally transferring petroleum products to North Korean vessels three times from July to December, according to the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries and the Coast Guard.

South Korea’s spy agency and the customs office conducted joint inspections on the ship twice in February when it entered the port for maintenance, followed by the regional maritime authorities’ order suspending its departure on Feb. 15.

Katrin’s owner, a Russian national, is reportedly denying the allegations.

“The owner vowed to cooperate with the investigation, but is continuously delaying arrival in South Korea,” a coast guard official said.

Eight vessels are held in South Korea as of Saturday for suspected violation of U.N. sanctions. Six have been detained as their allegations have been substantiated, while the other two, including the Katrin, are still under investigation.

In an annual report, a U.N. panel earlier said North Korea “continues to defy Security Council resolutions through a massive increase in illegal ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products and coal.”
Source: Yonhap

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