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The joint venture fishing company formed between Mozambican and North Korean concerns, which featured so prominently in last week’s report by the US television channel CNN claiming to expose how Mozambique was violating UN sanctions against North Korea, was dissolved even before CNN undertook its investigation.
A report in Friday’s issue of the independent daily “O Pais” sad that the Mozambican Fisheries Ministry ordered the dissolution of the joint venture precisely in order to comply with UN sanctions against Pyongyang.
The joint venture was formed on 27 February 2013, between the Korean Overseas Fishing Corporation, with 70 per cent of the shares, and the Mozambican private company PAR Ltd, with the remaining 30 per cent.
The North Korean contribution to the company was two trawlers, the “Susan 1” and the “Susan 2”, currently anchored in Maputo fishing port. The company’s main activity was to fish for deep water prawns, known as “gamba”.
PAR’s lawyer, Adriano Boane, told the paper “We were notified in December by the Ministry of Fisheries, and by 22 December this company was dissolved on the instructions of the government. Right now the company is in the process of liquidation”.
Boane recognised that there are still North Korean citizens on board the two boats, but when the liquidation procedures were concluded, they would return to Korea.
“They haven’t gone yet”, he said. “They’re still here, but they’re preparing to leave. Since December the boats have not put out to sea”. All the logistics for the journey to Korea were in hand “and they will leave within a few days”.
PAR believes that, since many foreign companies are interested in fishing in Mozambican waters, it will have no difficulty in finding a new partner once the Koreans have left.
There is, however, no doubt that this joint venture did violate UN sanctions in the past. Even if its formation in 2013 was not covered by the sanctions, its recent fishing activities were. The most recent package of sanctions against the Pyongyang regime was passed by the United Nations Security Council in August, and the company continued fishing beyond that date. The records of the Maputo Maritime Administration show that the last time the “Susan 1” and “Susan 2” put out to sea was in December.
On Monday Deputy Foreign Minister Maria Lucas denied that there is any violation of UN sanctions, and that the only cooperation between Mozambique and North Korea is political.
Lucas said Mozambique is willing to cooperate with the UN panel of experts set up to monitor compliance with the sanctions.
“The government recently invited the panel to visit Mozambique to see on the spot the work the country is doing to collaborate with this panel”, said Lucas. “The panel has promised to visit Mozambique during this quarter”.Source: AIM
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