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Why Nigerian Companies should Avoid North Korea like a Plague

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North Korea has always been known to be a pariah state. Its evolution into a pariah state and the reasons for it are not far-fetched. Its obstinate refusal to stop developing and building a nuclear arsenal that poses a massive threat to world peace and security, and continued harassment of its neighbours made the rest of the civilized world decide to gradually isolate her.

The country has therefore over the years received a lot of economic sanctions from both the United Nations, United States and other western nations. The idea is to stop trading with them and stop others from trading with them so that they either change or come to the negotiating table, or get starved of funds to carry out their nuclear weapons that pose existential threats to humanity.

Not many people,however, bother to dwell on the  fact that North Korea is also a rogue state. It even became a rogue before it graduated into a pariah. This is a police state where there are no freedoms to interact, speak, assemble or use the internet or interface with the rest of the world. A state that does not have a modern or democratic process of choosing its leaders where one sadistic lunatic can be President and be given the power of life and death. A country where the President can order the execution of a minister for merely sleeping during meetings! A country whose leader is so erratic and unpredictable that he can wake up from the wrong side of his bed and choose to test his nuclear war in the border areas putting neighbours at risk and wreaking havoc on the environment.

It is risky enough for any government anywhere in the world to try to do business with the North Korean government or any company from a rogue country. It is worse for private companies to even dare. What is worse is the fact that there are no genuine private-owned companies in North Korea. There’s nothing like freedom in the country, not even free enterprise. So all the companies are indirectly owned and controlled by the state which means the murderous dictator with a short fuse, King Jong-Un, is in charge.

Hush-Korea

It is becoming evident that the rogue North Korean government has added organised, elaborate, world class, hi-tech fraudulent business activities to its long list of inequities.

The country’s criminal romance with Nigerian-born Instagram con artist, Rahmon Abbas, aka Hushpuppy, as exposed by the United States authorities, is the biggest pointer to the danger involved in doing business with any organization that is connected with North Korea.

According to US officials, Hushpuppy helped North Korean hackers to launder money stolen from a Maltese bank.

He played an active supporting role in cyber-scams perpetrated by three computer programmers accused of extorting more than $1.3 billion of cash and cryptocurrency.

North Korean state operatives are the world’s leading bank robbers,” John Demers, head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, said, after unsealing the indictment of Jon Chang Hyok, Kim Il and Park Jin Hyok. The trio and other unidentified North Koreans were involved in the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. in 2014 and the attempted theft of nearly $1 billion from Bangladesh’s central bank in 2016, according to the U.S. government. Recently, the group has focused on stealing cryptocurrencies, according to prosecutors.

The hackers allegedly turned to a network including Abbas “to launder funds from a North Korean-perpetrated cyber-enabled heist” from an unidentified Maltese bank in February 2019. The Nigerian worked with a Canadian, Ghaleb Alaumary, who U.S. officials accused of organizing teams to launder millions of dollars stolen by hacking automated teller machines, including from BankIslami in Pakistan and a bank in India, according to the Justice Department.
Alaumary, 37, began cooperating with U.S. authorities in October 2019 and secretly signed a plea agreement last November, according to court papers unsealed in Los Angeles on Feb. 17.
Hushpuppy was extradited in July from Dubai to the U.S. where he faces criminal charges of allegedly conspiring to launder hundreds of millions of dollars from “business email compromise” frauds and other scams. He has accepted a plea bargain and he is likely to serve his term in the US.

Who knows how many more Hushpuppies the criminal regime in North Korea is using to defraud the world? North Korea is a kind of devil no one should even touch with a long pole or dine with, with a long spoon.

Reputation and integrity are vital in business decisions. Nigerian business leaders who have the ambition to build  vibrant and reputable businesses that will stand the test of time and pass the integrity test must therefore be wary of  North Korea and whatever concerns it.  Gullible individuals who earlier on trusted the country and its  rogues are now regretting it.

The West does it Better
There is no alternative to democracy, human rights and good governance. It is difficult to imagine that some people will have access to these western democracies and still choose to do business with shady individuals and organizations from the darkest parts of the world like North Korea and China.
In the US and other civilized countries, everyone is held accountable including the President. So no one can lord it over anyone. It is a nation of laws; laws that everyone must obey. So doing business with such countries is far better and more profitable… All the parties are guaranteed their ROIs, transparency and the protection of a legal system that works.
The choice between the US and North Korea is a choice between right and wrong, and good and evil.

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