北朝鮮への資金返還のため、国営会社によるBDA買収を検討 - 韓
2007年 04月 28日 15:41:12 【ソウル 28日 AFP】韓国政府は、国営の韓国資産管理公社（Korea Asset Management Corporation、KAMCO）によるマカオの銀行バンコ・デルタ・アジア（BDA）の買収により、同行に凍結されていた資金を北朝鮮に返還する方策を模索している。 韓国の通信社聯合ニュース（Yonhap news agency）が27日、中国を訪問中の外交官の話として報じた。また、6か国協議の参加国もBDA問題の解決策として、この方策を検討中としているという。 BDAの北朝鮮口座の資金凍結解除後も他行への送金が難航。6か国合意である北朝鮮による核施設停止という、非核化へ初期段階措置の履行できないままとなっている。 北朝鮮は、「関連口座に凍結されていた資金2500万ドル（約29億円）が返還され次第、寧辺（ニョンビョン、Yongbyon）の核施設の稼働を停止する」としている。
アメリカのＢＤＡ口座凍結→中国銀行への移転、人道目的にのみ限って北朝鮮の引出を認めるという初期の合意が崩れた最大の原因はColin McAskillがＢＤＡにある大同信用銀行（Daedong Credit Bank）の７００万ドルは民間の企業の金であることを盾に口座を移すことに同意をしなかったことですから、今回連合通信の報じている解決策はこれまで通りに解決策にはならないと思うし、彼のファンドの金を誰が担保するのかって話も全然ないもんね。
以下Stanley AuとColin McAskill関連記事
Macau bank struggles to shake off North Korea links
Thu Dec 21, 2006 12:53PM GMT
By David Lawder
MACAU (Reuters) - For most Macanese, tiny Banco Delta Asia is just another retail bank with marble-clad teller lobbies and colorful brochures in this south China gambling mecca. But at six-country talks in Beijing this week, the bank has been vilified as a dangerous conduit for money earned illegally through counterfeiting and smuggling by one of America's most intransigent foes, North Korea. Banco Delta Asia (BDA), one of the former Portuguese colony's smallest banks, has been struggling for more than a year since the U.S. Treasury designated it a "primary money-laundering concern" because of its decades-long ties to North Korea. The action sparked a run on deposits and prompted the Macau government to take control of the bank and freeze North Korean accounts, which contain some $24 million. And international banks have shunned it, largely shutting it out of U.S. dollar business. The crackdown also appears to have cut off a lifeline for impoverished North Korea into the international banking system. After the designation, the North boycotted six-party talks on scrapping its nuclear program and only returned this week after Washington agreed to put the financial curbs on the agenda. Although there appeared to be some progress in talks over North Korea's nuclear ambitions on Wednesday, the separate financial talks ended with no agreement -- a result that will likely keep Banco Delta Asia's status in limbo. "At the end of the day, the bank is a pawn on the chessboard of these talks," said a Hong Kong source familiar with Banco Delta Asia's predicament. The Treasury, however, has accused the bank of being a "willing pawn for the North Korean government to engage in corrupt financial activities." These included distributing counterfeit U.S. currency, smuggling counterfeit tobacco products and servicing accounts on behalf of front companies involved in drug trafficking. The bank "actively helped North Korean agents conduct surreptitious, multi-million dollar cash deposits and withdrawals without questioning the basis of these transactions," Stuart Levey, the Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a speech in September. He added that BDA officials had taken fees to forego scrutiny of such transactions. The designation reverberated so strongly, not because of the frozen $24 million -- a small sum for any country -- but because North Korea has not found a replacement international banker. "What they (North Korea) really want is to re-establish banking relationships, but they can't do that until they persuade the world that they are a legitimate partner to have in the banking system," Levey told Reuters in an interview this week. "JUST A NORMAL BANK" BDA's eight branches, which include one at the Lisboa Casino, are geared more toward small retail deposits and consumer loans in Macau's pataca currency than they are to handling massive U.S. dollar cash deposits. On a recent weekday afternoon, there was no outward sign of the international intrigue surrounding the institution as a steady stream of customers marched into its main branch to make deposits and withdrawals. Continued... "It's just a normal bank. I use it mainly to pay my household bills by autopay," said May Lee, an administrative assistant who works in Macau's central commercial district. Her main complaint was the bank's lack of automated teller machines, not its role at the center of the North Korean crisis. Macau's retail banking market has improved in recent years as a massive casino building boom has allowed the territory to rival Las Vegas as the world's gambling capital, just seven years after reverting to Chinese rule, with gaming revenues projected at $6.25 billion this year. The Hong Kong source said the family-owned bank has repaid a government loan of about 500 million patacas ($62.5 million) to help replace lost deposits, and is "standing on its own feet." BDA spokesman Charles Ngai said in a statement last week the bank was "operating normally" under government control. However, it has not filed a financial statement since 2004, when its parent company reported total assets of HK$4.2 billion ($538 million). The bank was founded in 1935 in the then-sleepy Portuguese trading port as Banco Hang Sang by Au Wing Ngok, father of Delta Asia's current chairman, Stanley Au. The younger Au, who also serves as a Macau legislator, set up banking and broking operations in Hong Kong and was instrumental in launching that territory's gold bullion market. Banco Delta Asia's attorneys, Heller Ehrman LLP, said in an October 18 filing to the Treasury's financial crimes unit that the bank purchased a large share of gold bullion produced by North Korea in the years before the Treasury designation, but has halted the trade since the North Korea accounts were frozen. They said any money-laundering activity that might have occurred was the result of inadequate internal controls and procedures and outdated computer technology that could not generate "exception reports" to flag unusual transactions. The bank also lacked sophisticated equipment to detect counterfeit bills, the filing said, but these issues were being addressed.
U.S. squeeze on N.Korea funds hurts reform - investor
Mon Feb 12, 2007 6:44AM GMT
By Jonathan Thatcher
SEOUL (Reuters) - The U.S. financial clampdown on North Korea is only making it harder for the country to open up its economy, one of the few foreign investors in the hermit-like communist state said. Colin McAskill, chairman of Koryo Asia which is about to take full control of the North Korea-based Daedong Credit Bank, said the U.S. squeeze on the North's offshore accounts since 2005 had made most international banks unwilling to deal with the country. "The objective of the United States is to cripple them (North Korea) financially and deny them access to international financial markets," he told Reuters in Seoul late last week. Much of the U.S. focus has been on Macau's Banco Delta Asia, which Washington says helped launder illicit North Korean financial activities. The Macau authorities have frozen the accounts which total some $24 million, including those of Daedong bank. An angry North Korea has been pressing the United States to end the clampdown as part of a deal to end its nuclear weapons programme. Washington argues Pyongyang obtains hard currency through illicit activities such as drug running. But in the latest round of international talks this week in Beijing, the finance issue has taken a back seat to haggling over North Korea's demands for huge energy aid in return for giving up nuclear arms. McAskill said he had proof -- which he has made available to U.S., Macau and South Korean authorities -- showing that nearly all the blocked funds in the Macau bank were legal. "A very small portion may well be illegal," he said "In any such market, an illegal element in inevitable. To say it is state sponsored is ridiculous," he said.
China 'regrets' US ruling on bank
Last Updated: Thursday, 15 March 2007, 08:23 GMT
China has expressed its "deep regret" at a US ruling on a Macau-based bank linked to allegations of North Korean money-laundering and counterfeiting. The US Treasury said on Wednesday that US banks and companies must sever all ties with Banco Delta Asia (BDA), the subject of an 18-month investigation. US envoy Christopher Hill said he did not think the move would block progress on a recently agreed nuclear deal. But it was not clear if Washington's ruling would satisfy Pyongyang. North Korea had demanded that a freeze on its assets held by BDA be lifted. 'Blind eye' "We deeply regret the ruling by the United States," China's foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said. Mr Qin said the US handling of the BDA case should be "conducive to the handling of the six-party talks" and benefit the stability of the Chinese territory of Macau. "Our position is strong. Our measures are effective. We follow closely the international obligations," he said. US Treasury Under-Secretary Stuart Levey said on Wednesday that the 18-month probe had confirmed BDA's "willingness to turn a blind eye to illicit activity, notably by its North Korean-related clients". But while the ruling bars the BDA from accessing the US banking system, it could also allow Macau's authorities to remove the bank from receivership and return some of North Korea's money. The US accused the BDA in September 2005 of acting as a conduit for money earned by Pyongyang from counterfeit currency and drug smuggling. Soon afterwards the Macau authorities took control of the bank and froze accounts linked to North Korean clients - said to be worth $25m (£13m). The US decision led North Korea to boycott talks on ending its nuclear programme for more than a year - only returning to the negotiating table in December after testing missiles and a nuclear weapon. Pyongyang agreed in February, at a further round of six-party talks in Beijing, to "shut down and seal" its Yongbyon nuclear reactor in exchange for energy aid. Upbeat The six parties - the two Koreas, China, the US, Japan and Russia - are due to resume talks on Monday on the progress of the nuclear deal. Christopher Hill said he was "confident" the talks would go ahead and that the ruling on the BDA would not "pose a stumbling block". The Macau Monetary Authority said in a statement on Thursday that it expressed "its deep regret" over the US findings, adding that the Macau government "will soon make an official response." Meanwhile, the BDA's chairman Stanley Au appeared upbeat when asked for his reaction, shrugging off the US ruling. "Do you think I look worried? I'll take it as it comes," he told a television broadcaster in Beijing, where he is attending a meeting.
U.S. seeks to bury rift before North Korea talks
Fri Mar 16, 2007 12:20PM GMT
By Chris Buckley
BEIJING (Reuters) - Nuclear negotiators gathering in Beijing will turn their focus to implementing a disarmament agreement with North Korea, the chief U.S. envoy said on Friday, seeking to bury a rift with China over a small Macau bank. China has criticised Washington's decision to ban U.S. banks from dealing with Banco Delta Asia, or BDA, which the U.S. Treasury has accused of sheltering illegal North Korean earnings. The bank's parent company on Friday denied the bank had knowingly laundered illicit North Korean money, holding out hopes the ban would be lifted. The United States made the move as it seeks to fulfil its side of a February 13 agreement offering North Korea improved aid and security in return for shutting down the reactor at the heart of its nuclear weapons programme by mid-April. Macau, a tiny gambling enclave under indirect Chinese control along the coast from Hong Kong, may now free up frozen North Korean accounts found to be above board. North Korea has yet to comment on the U.S. announcement. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said on Thursday that he "deeply" regretted the U.S. decision, which he suggested could destabilise Macau's financial system and harm six-party nuclear talks that restart on Monday. But the chief U.S. negotiator, Christopher Hill, maintained on Friday that the bank decision would not upset the talks, which bring together both Koreas, China, the United States, Japan and Russia. Frankly, I think it has been resolved," Hill told reporters of the bank issue. "I'm sure that this will not pose any obstacle to our six-party process." The rift over BDA came amid intensifying diplomacy to implement the disarmament deal. Hill said that in the coming days negotiators would be "shifting very much towards the six-party process" as they seek to implement the February deal before a 60-day deadline. "I would say we are in pretty good shape after 30 days." Nonetheless, a U.S. Treasury Department official will head to Macau this weekend to explain the bank decision, which also brought a protest from Macau. Hill said Treasury official Daniel Glaser was also likely to visit Beijing. Stanley Au, chairman of BDA's parent company, Delta Asia Financial, said he hoped Glaser's talks would help lift the U.S. ban. Au said the bank had done nothing wrong. The February disarmament deal was sealed after Washington and Pyongyang held breakthrough bilateral talks in the wake of North Korea's first ever nuclear test in October, drawing international condemnation and U.N. sanctions. The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, left Beijing on Friday after briefing envoys about his trip to North Korea, where he was negotiating the return of IAEA inspectors. The U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Thomas Schieffer, said on Friday that the goal of the disarmament talks remained a long way off. "The February agreement is not an end in itself," he told reporters in Tokyo. "The end of the process comes when there are no nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula and there's nobody trying to build nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula."
U.S. official meets North Koreans over funds
Tue Mar 27, 2007 6:21AM BST
BEIJING (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury officials and North Korean diplomats met to work out the transfer of funds frozen in a Macau bank and smooth the way for the resumption of disarmament talks, the U.S. embassy said on Tuesday. The U.S. delegation, led by Daniel Glaser, met the officials late on Monday in Beijing to discuss implementation of a deal in which $25 million (12 million pounds) was to be released into a North Korean account at the Bank of China. The funds were frozen after the United States declared Macau's Banco Delta Asia a "willing pawn" in North Korea's illegal financial activities, a charge the owner of the bank denies. In a move to advance six-party nuclear disarmament talks, the U.S. Treasury said it would release the funds, but the transfer -- technically up to the Macau Monetary Authority, which froze the money in the first place -- has not been executed. The delay caused North Korea to walk away from negotiations last week. Complicating matters, a British firm linked to a North Korean bank with money frozen in Macau opposes the transfer of the funds to Pyongyang as part of the nuclear deal, and has said it will take whatever steps are needed to protect its clients' money. Colin McAskill, chairman of the investment advisory Koryo Asia, which is in a deal to buy a controlling stake in the North Korea-based Daedong Credit Bank, said he had written to the Macau Monetary Authority requesting a meeting and making it clear he opposed "taking Daedong's money without its consent". About $7 million of the $25 million frozen in Macau belonged to Daedong and its clients, McAskill said, without elaborating. The legal basis for transferring all the money to a North Korean government-linked bank account at Bank of China was unclear. McAskill said on Tuesday he would take "whatever steps were deemed necessary" to protect the funds, adding he had not ruled out legal action. "I just don't want Daedong's and its customers' money to be included in that," he said. In Washington, the chief U.S. envoy to the talks that also group the two Koreas, host China, Japan and Russia, said the dispute over funds should be resolved "in the next couple of days", Japan's Kyodo news agency reported. Christopher Hill made the comments in a speech at Georgetown University, adding that North Korea's refusal to negotiate until the funds were transferred was a "wrong-headed decision".
UPDATE 2-U.S. official meets North Koreans over funds
Tue Mar 27, 2007 10:02AM BST
BEIJING, March 27 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury officials and North Korean diplomats met to work out the transfer of funds frozen in a Macau bank and smooth the way for the resumption of disarmament talks, the U.S. embassy said on Tuesday. The U.S. delegation, led by Daniel Glaser, met the officials late on Monday in Beijing to discuss implementation of a deal in which $25 million was to be released into a North Korean account at the Bank of China. The funds were frozen after the United States declared Macau's Banco Delta Asia a "willing pawn" in North Korea's illegal financial activities, a charge the owner of the bank denies. In a move to advance six-party nuclear disarmament talks, the U.S. Treasury said it would release the funds, but the transfer -- technically up to the Macau Monetary Authority, which froze the money in the first place -- has not been executed. The delay caused North Korea to walk away from negotiations last week. Complicating matters, a British firm linked to a North Korean bank with money frozen in Macau opposes the transfer of the funds to Pyongyang, and has said it will take whatever steps are needed to protect its clients' money. Colin McAskill, chairman of the investment advisory Koryo Asia, which is in a deal to buy a controlling stake in the North Korea-based Daedong Credit Bank, said he had written to the Macau Monetary Authority requesting a meeting and making it clear he opposed "taking Daedong's money without its consent". About $7 million of the $25 million frozen in Macau belonged to Daedong and its clients, McAskill said, without elaborating. The legal basis for transferring all the money to a North Korean government-linked bank account at Bank of China was unclear. McAskill said on Tuesday he would take "whatever steps were deemed necessary" to protect the funds, adding he had not ruled out legal action. "I just don't want Daedong's and its customers' money to be included in that," he said. China's Foreign Ministry had no information on the progress of Glaser's visit and gave no indication of when or how the dispute over the funds might be resolved. "The relevant parties, including China, are having discussions on the proper solution of the question," spokesman Qin Gang told a news conference. In Washington, the chief U.S. envoy to the talks that also group the two Koreas, host China, Japan and Russia, said the dispute over funds should be resolved "in the next couple of days", Japan's Kyodo news agency reported. Christopher Hill made the comments in a speech at Georgetown University, adding that North Korea's refusal to negotiate until the funds were transferred was a "wrong-headed decision".