Cryptocurrency: British man accused of conspiracy to help North Korea evade US sanctions | World news

A British man is one of two European men accused of conspiring with a US developer of cryptocurrency to help North Korea evade US sanctions.

Britain’s Christopher Emms and Spain’s Alejandro Cao De Benos allegedly worked with Virgil Griffith to illegally provide cryptocurrency and blockchain technology services to North Korea, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the southern district of New York.

Emms is currently being held in Saudi Arabia as he battles a US extradition request. The 30-year-old Crypto expert from Reigate, Surrey, is accused of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) despite not being an “American person” and therefore not subject to the law.

It happens when Griffith, 39, was recently jailed for five years for helping the North Korean regime evade the US sanctions imposed on its nuclear weapons program.

The indictment alleges that the couple conspired with Griffith from around 2018 to around November 2019.

Virgil Griffith expressed interest in giving up her US citizenship.  Photo: @ VirgilGr / Twitter
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Virgil Griffith pleaded guilty last year to traveling to North Korea. Photo: @ VirgilGr / Twitter

The lawyer’s office said that according to court documents, Emms and De Benos jointly planned and organized the Pyongyang Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference (North Korea’s cryptocurrency conference) for the benefit of the country.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said the Emms and De Benos conspired with the Griffiths “to teach and advise members of the North Korean government on advanced cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, all with the intent of circumventing U.S. sanctions to stop North Korea’s hostile nuclear program. ambitions “.

He added that the Emms had allegedly advised North Korean officials that cryptocurrency technology “made it ‘possible to transfer money across any country in the world, no matter what sanctions or sanctions are imposed on any country'”.

Last September, Griffith pleaded guilty to traveling to North Korea (DPRK) to attend a blockchain conference in the capital Pyongyang in April 2019, despite the US Department of State being denied permission to go there.

At the conference in the capital, “he provided instruction on how the DPRK could use blockchain and cryptocurrency technology to launder money and evade sanctions,” according to the Justice Department.

Griffiths, who lives in Singapore, avoided creating physical evidence that he had been in North Korea by paying € 100 for a visa, to which he attached a paper separate from his US passport.

North Korea is increasingly using cryptocurrency to circumvent international sanctions and can use it to help fund programs to build weapons of mass destruction.

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