SINGAPORE- Singapore-based oil trader Winson Group denied on Tuesday a U.N. Security Council report alleging that it supplied fuel to North Korea in breach of international sanctions.
"Winson denies, in the strongest possible terms, any and all allegations and/or insinuations that it knowingly facilitated the illicit supply of oil to North Korea in breach of any United Nations Security Council resolutions, and/or that it is a 'key node' in North Korea's procurement of oil or refined petroleum products," the company said in a statement.
The oil trader, referring to a UN Panel of Experts' Midterm Report dated Sept. 8, said it was treated unfairly by the Panel despite having "extended its fullest cooperation" to its "copious amounts of information and documents" requests as part of its investigations into alleged violations.
"A significant number of allegations and insinuations made against Winson in the Report relate to matters which were not part of the Panel's series of (very detailed) questions put to Winson," the company said.
"Winson therefore has not been given any opportunity to be heard and/or present its case in relation to such allegations and insinuations – which amounts to a substantial breach of natural justice."
The oil trader added that it "ceased all ship-to-ship operations to tankers which are not owned and/or operated by Winson in the area stretching from outside Taiwanese port limits through the East China Sea to the Yellow Sea" where some of the alleged illicit transfers took place.
Having just obtained a copy of the report, the company said it may issue a more detailed statement in due course once it had the opportunity to consider it in detail.
"In the meantime, Winson remains committed to cooperating with the Panel and demonstrating that it did not at any time breach any UN sanctions against North Korea."
(Reporting by Roslan Khasawneh) ((firstname.lastname@example.org;))