The U.S. Department of State’s Rewards for Justice (RFJ) program, which is administered by the Diplomatic Security Service, is offering a reward of up to $5 million for information that leads to the disruption of financial mechanisms of persons engaged in certain activities that support the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), including money laundering, exportation of luxury goods to the DPRK, specified cyber-activity, and actions that support weapons of mass destruction proliferation.
The Department is seeking information on Kwek Kee Seng, a Singaporean national and director of the Singapore-based shipping agency and terminal operations company known as Swanseas Port Services (S) Pte Ltd, who has engaged in an extensive scheme to evade U.S. and U.N. sanctions by covertly transporting fuel to the DPRK, in violation of U.S. law.
Kwek Kee Seng has directed the delivery of petroleum products directly to the DPRK as well as ship-to-ship transfers of fuel destined for the DPRK using one of Kwek’s oil tankers, the M/T Courageous.
Kwek and his co-conspirators sought to obscure their identities and activities by conducting financial transactions through a series of shell companies. He directed payments in U.S. dollars that were routed from his shell companies based in Panama, Singapore, and elsewhere, and through U.S. banks to pay for oil, the M/T Courageous, services and materials for the vessel, and salaries for crewmembers. These transactions violated the prohibition of the export of financial services for the benefit of the DPRK.
On April 23, 2021, a U.S. federal arrest warrant was issued for Kwek Kee Seng in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, after he was charged with Conspiracy to Violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and Conspiracy to Commit International Money Laundering. He remains at large.
On October 7, 2022, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated Kwek Kee Seng and Swanseas Port Services Pte. Ltd. pursuant to E.O. 13810 for activities related to the exportation of petroleum to the DPRK, which directly supports the development of DPRK weapons programs and its military.
More information about this reward offer is located on the Rewards for Justice website, and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RFJ_USA; https://twitter.com/RFJ_korean; and https://twitter.com/RFJ_mandarin. We encourage anyone with information on Kwek Kee Seng to contact the Rewards for Justice office via its Tor-based tips-reporting channel at: he5dybnt7sr6cm32xt77pazmtm65flqy6irivtflruqfc5ep7eiodiad.onion (Tor browser required).
The Rewards for Justice Program is an effective law enforcement tool and is administered by the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service. Since its inception in 1984, the program has paid more than $250 million to over125 people across the globe who provided information that helped prevent terrorism, bring terrorist leaders to justice, and resolve threats to U.S. national security. Of that amount, RFJ has paid rewards of $5 million each to two individuals whose information helped disrupt an illicit financial scheme that benefitted the DPRK in violation of international and U.S. sanctions.