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New York marine insurance company fined for North Korea dealings

The U.S. Treasury said the firm had committed a total of 48 violations.

By Elizabeth Shim
New York marine insurance company fined for North Korea dealings
A New York-based marine insurance company was fined for its dealings that violated U.S. sanctions against North Korea, Iran, Cuba and Sudan. Photo by Joel Raskin/Shutterstock

NEW YORK, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- A New York marine insurance firm has agreed to pay fines for violating U.S. sanctions against North Korea, Cuba and Iran.

Insurance provider The Navigators Group, Inc. admitted the company provided North Korea vessels with marine insurance, according to a statement from the U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control on Thursday.

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OFAC said Navigators had committed a total of 48 violations: The firm was found in violation of North Korea sanctions including Executive Order No. 13466 and various sanctions against Iran, Cuba and Sudan.

The firm has agreed to pay a reduced fine of $271,000 -- down from an initial penalty of $750,000. Of the $750,000 amount, $570,000 was a fine for North Korea sanctions violations.

OFAC said the penalty was reduced after Navigators voluntarily disclosed information of its violations and cooperated with investigators.

Navigators earned $1.1 million in insurance premiums between 2008 and 2011 from 24 individual policies for North Korea vessels.

Between 2009 and 2010, the firm delivered $12,000 in payouts.

Despite sanctions, North Korean ships remain active at sea.

In 2014, a 6,700-ton North Korean ship was stranded on a reef nine miles from Veracruz, Mexico.

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Mexico had detained the ship's personnel but released the North Koreans last month after negotiations with Pyongyang.

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