Shell Companies Undermine Sanctions against North Korea

This article was originally published by The Austin American Statesman.

On Aug. 5, the United Nations Security Council voted to pass powerful new sanctions on North Korea. If successfully enforced, the new sanctions could deal a significant blow to the regime, cutting off as much as its foreign currency supply. But if sanctions are going to have any effect on the North Korean regime, we cannot continue to leave open critical loopholes that allow them to launder money and get around the sanctions.

We undermine our own interests by making it harder to enforce sanctions as we allow illicit actors to hide behind anonymous shell companies. It is possible to create a secret company in most U.S. states where the true name of the beneficial owner of the company is hidden from law enforcement, banks and people with whom the company does business. That company is then able to open bank accounts, buy property and generally do business as a legal U.S. entity, regardless of who the real owner is.

Continue reading: the full op-ed can be found here.

E.J. Fagan is a Ph.D. student in political science at the University of Texas. Mike Findley is professor of Government and Public Policy at the University of Texas.

This article was originally published by My Statesman.