TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -The banks were not identified by the judge, but details in the ruling align with a 2017 civil forfeiture action against Bank of Communications, China Merchants Bank and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, the newspaper reported.
The U.S. Justice Department at the time accused the banks of working with a Hong Kong company, which allegedly laundered more than $100 million for North Korea’s sanctioned Foreign Trade Bank, the paper said.
The Washington Post report comes as the United States and China have waged a year-long trade war marked by tit-for-tat tariffs on each other’s goods.
The newspaper said the bank at risk of losing access to U.S. dollars appeared to be Shanghai Pudong Development Bank whose ownership structure, limited U.S. presence and alleged conduct with other banks matched with the details disclosed in the court rulings.
Shanghai Pudong Development Bank doesn’t have U.S. branch operations but maintains accounts in that country to handle dollar transactions, the report said, adding the subpoena battle will go before a federal appeals court in Washington on July 12.
“The ruling means that Attorney General William P. Barr or Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin can terminate the bank’s U.S. account and ability to process U.S. dollar transactions.”
National joint-stock lender China Merchants Bank said on Tuesday it complies with related United Nations resolutions and Chinese laws, and is not involved in any investigations related to possible violations of sanctions.
Bank of Communications, China’s fifth-largest bank, said the case involved U.S. courts seeking to obtain customer information that is stored outside the United States from Chinese commercial banks.