Human Rights

US Justice arrests citizen for assisting N. Korea

WASHINGTON, The US Department of Justice Announces Arrest of United States Citizen for Assisting North Korea in Evading Sanctions.

The Department of Justice announced the unsealing of a criminal complaint charging Virgil Griffith, a United States citizen, with violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) by traveling to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (“DPRK” or “North Korea”) in order deliver a presentation and technical advice on using cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to evade sanctions.

Griffith was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019 and will be presented in federal court today.

In or about April 2019, Griffith traveled to the DPRK to attend and present at the “Pyongyang Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference” (the “DPRK Cryptocurrency Conference”).

Despite that the US Department of State had denied Griffith permission to travel to the DPRK, Griffith presented at the DPRK Cryptocurrency Conference, knowing that doing so violated sanctions against the DPRK.

“As alleged, Virgil Griffith provided highly technical information to North Korea, knowing that this information could be used to help North Korea launder money and evade sanctions, said US Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman for the Southern District of New York.

Virgil Griffith, 36yrs, is a resident of Singapore and citizen of the United States.

Griffith is charged with conspiring to violate the IEEPA, which carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison.

Source: Kuwait News Agency