December 10, 2018, SEOUL (REUTERS)—South Korean prosecutors have charged four people with illegally importing North Korean coal in violation of international sanctions, by trying to disguise it as imports from Russia. The unidentified defendants were charged in early December with bringing in North Korean coal and other material by “laundering the origin” through fake certificates of origin from Russian ports, after the old route for North Korean coal, through China, was blocked due to sanctions, according to the Daegu District Public Prosecutor’s Office. “It appears that the defendants wanted profit from arbitrage, using the fact that the prices of North Korean coal and other materials are low due to their difficulty to be traded internationally,” the office said.
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