In 2003, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or North Korea, withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and restarted its nuclear weapons program. Three years later, the DPRK conducted its first nuclear test. In an effort to force the DPRK to end its unlawful ballistic missile and weapons of mass destruction programs, international groups including the United Nations and the European Union, imposed on North Korea a series of economic and financial sanctions, broadening and tightening them as the nuclear tests escalated.
In need of funds to support its nuclear program, the DPRK used the services of numerous individuals to evade sanctions and to obtain money to pay for embargoed goods. For the past six years, the DPRK has also engaged in the theft of virtual currency and fraud schemes.
In late April, the U.S. Department of State, through its Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program, announced a reward offer of up to 5 million dollars for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of North Korean national Sim Hyon-Sop. Separate rewards of up to 500,000 dollars each were offered for information leading to the arrests and/or convictions Chinese nationals Han Linlin and Qin Gouming.
The United States Department of the Treasury has also sanctioned Sim Hyon-Sop, plus Wu Huihui and Cheng Hung Man. Wu is an over-the-counter virtual currency trader based in China who facilitated the conversion of virtual currency stolen by DPRK actors to fiat currency. Cheng, a Hong Kong-based over-the-counter virtual currency trader, worked with Wu to transfer payment to companies in exchange for virtual currency.
“The DPRK’s use of illicit facilitation networks to access the international financial system and generate revenue using virtual currency for the regime’s unlawful weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs directly threatens international security,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “The United States and our partners are committed to safeguarding the international financial system and preventing its use in the DPRK’s destabilizing activities, especially in light of the DPRK’s three launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles this year alone.”
If you have information on these men, please contact U.S. investigators at +1-520-442-0703 on WhatsApp or Telegram. If you are located outside of the United States, you may also visit the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If in the United States, you can also contact the local FBI offices in your city.