WASHINGTON, May 10 (UPI) -- The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned a business and individual, both from Taiwan, linked to an accused weapons of mass destruction procurer for North Korea.
Citing authority under an executive order, Treasury officials sanctioned Trans Multi Mechanics Co. Ltd. and Chang Wen-Fu for their links to a North Korean procurement agent, Alex H.T. Tsai, the department said Friday in a release.
Alex Tsai was arrested in Estonia and and his son, Yueh-Hsun Tsai, was arrested in the United States, charged with conspiring to defraud the U.S. government in its enforcement of laws barring the proliferation of WMDs.
"It is essential that we continue to make it as difficult as possible for North Korea to facilitate its nuclear and ballistic missile programs by exposing key cogs in North Korea's procurement network," Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen said.
Alex Tsai and two companies controlled -- Global Interface Company and Trans Merits Co. Ltd. -- were designated by the Treasury Department in 2009 for providing support to North Korea's leading arms dealer, Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation.
Chang was the chief executive officer and general manager of Trans Multi Mechanics Co. Ltd. and was actively involved in procuring dual-use machinery for North Korea, the Treasury Department said.
Trans Multi Mechanics Co. Ltd. was involved in some of the purchases which resulted in the charges against the Tsais, the department said.
Generally, U.S. individuals and businesses are barred from financial dealings with sanctioned individuals or entities and the assets of the sanctioned are frozen.