A North Korean national will be tried in the United States (US) over allegations he laundered $1.5 million through American banks as part of a scheme to provide luxury goods to the Asian country in breach of sanctions.

Mun Chol Myong, 55, is the first North Korean ever to be extradited to the US. He is accused of defrauding US banks and violating US and United Nations sanctions.

According to the indictment Mun and co-conspirators used a web of front companies and bank accounts registered to false names and removed references to the DPRK from international wire transfer and transactional documents.

“By intentionally concealing that their transactions were for the benefit of DPRK entities, Mun and his conspirators deceived US correspondent banks into processing U.S. dollar transactions for the benefit of DPRK entities, which the correspondent banks would have otherwise not processed” the US Justice Department said.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation officials stressed the significance of the first extradition of a North Korean national.

“One of the Federal Bureau Investigation’s biggest counterintelligence challenges is bringing overseas defendants to justice, especially in the case of North Korea,” said Assistant Director Alan E. Kohler Jr. of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division.

“Thanks to the FBI’s partnership with foreign authorities, we’re proud to bring Mun Chol Myong to the United States to face justice, and we hope he will be the first of many.”

Michael F. Paul, Special Agent in Charge, of the FBI’s Minneapolis field office, said:” “It is important to underscore the relevance of this first-ever extradition of a North Korean national. Our Minneapolis agents worked this case closely with international partners highlighting how FBI special agents are persistent and have an international impact wherever they are.”

Mun faces six counts of money laundering, including conspiracy to commit money laundering.

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