The Busan Coast Guard announced on Jan. 16 that it has investigated the Russian who is the owner of a 1,014-ton Panamanian petroleum product carrier since March last year. The investigation on the owner grounded for violation of U.N. Security Council sanctions on North Korea is showing little progress and the ship has been scrapped already.
According to the coast guard, petroleum products were transshipped from the ship to North Korean vessels subject to the sanctions on three different occasions between July and December 2018, including transshipment at the Cheongjin Port on July 17. The Panamanian carrier was scrapped in July last year at the request of the Russian owner.
At that time, the South Korean government approved the scrapping based on its conclusion that the scrapping would not hinder the investigation at all. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed that the scrapping was a kind of warning message that any ship arrested for violation of such sanctions can be scrapped.
The first investigation finished in March last year. The Russian returned to his home country and came back to Busan in early May for more investigation. He is denying every allegation, claiming that U.S. satellite photos related to transshipment are fake.