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A Macau Bank Temporarily Halts North Korean Business

Posted September. 21, 2005 07:22,   


Banco Delta Asia, a Macau bank designated by the U.S. Treasury Department as North Korea’s channel for illegal fundraising, placed a temporary halt on its services to North Korea, reported China’s Shanghai Daily on September 20.

The newspaper reported that chairman Stanley Au of Delta Asia, the parent company of the bank in question, recently held a press conference in which he declared the bank will temporarily suspend all business with North Korea in order "to resolve the dispute with the United States Department of Treasury."

The measure was announced by Banco Delta Asia while massive withdrawals continued, reaching 300 million Hong Kong dollars (about 40 billion Korean won) on September 17 alone, a size accounting for 10 percent of its total deposits.

Shanghai Daily reported that Au stated there had been no illicit activities in the bank’s dealings with North Korea.

The U.S. Treasury Department had earlier announced on September 15 that Banco Delta Asia had been acting as a conduit for North Korea in raising illegal funds, with a North Korean company circulating counterfeit U.S. currency through the bank and laundering illicit funds raised through drug trafficking.

Yoon-Jong Yoo gustav@donga.com