Former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed has criticized the incumbent head of state for the recent development of Maldivian registered tanker vessels engaged in illegal high-seas ship-to-ship transfer with North Korea, reported by Japanese government.
Earlier on Tuesday Japanese government published evidence of both Maldives and North Korean vessels engaged in contraband trafficking at high-seas – an act prohibited under UN Security Council sanctions.
“At midnight on February 24, 2018, a P-3C aircraft of Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (Fleet Air Wing 1 P-3C: Kanoya) found that Chon Ma San, North Korean-flagged tanker, was lying alongside Xin Yuan 18, Maldivian-flagged tanker, on the high sea (around 250 km eastern offshore of Shanghai) in the East China Sea,” Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on its website, adding “following a comprehensive assessment, the Government of Japan strongly suspects that they conducted ship-to-ship transfers banned by UNSCR.”
The UNSCR 2375 unanimously adopted on September 11, 2017 banned all STS transfers.
Multiple websites local to Japan had published news and imagery of two vessels engaged in ship-to-ship transfer, while one was identified as a North Korean vessel the other had a Maldivian flag flying on it.
“It’s concerning, but unsurprising, to learn Prez Yameen is again breaking UN sanctions, this time with North Korea,” Nasheed tweeted adding, “In 1990s, Prez Yameen did the same with Burmese junta.”
Member states are made mandatory to prohibit their nationals, entities and vessels flying their flags from “facilitating or engaging in ship-to-ship transfers to or from DPRK-flagged vessels of any goods or items that are being supplied, sold, or transferred to or from the DPRK.”
North Korea suffers multiple sanctioning mainly headed by United States for its continued development and deployment of nuclear armament, thus high-sea ship to ship transfers to North Korean vessels are prohibited.
For long US along with Japan and South Korea had suspected Asian monolith China of clandestinely providing military and technical support through ‘shady’ deals. (Courtesy Avas Online)