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Dennis Rodman Gifts Brought to North Korean Dictator Lead to Federal Investigation

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  • dennis rodman north korea
    (Photo: Reuters/KCNA)
    Former NBA star Dennis Rodman (C) visits the Arch of Triumph in Pyongyang in this picture released by North Korea's KCNA news agency on March 1, 2013. KCNA reported that a mixed basketball game of visiting American basketball players and North Korean players was held at the Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Gymnasium in Pyongyang on February 28, 2013.
By Myles Collier, Christian Post Contributor
January 24, 2014|2:17 pm

Dennis Rodman may have violated laws prohibiting foreigners from importing luxury goods to North Korea during his most recent trip to the reclusive nation.

Reports indicate that the U.S. Treasury Department is currently investigating the matter. Rodman visited Pyongyang earlier this month to participate in an exhibition basketball match for Kim Jong-un's 31st birthday.

Rodman allegedly brought several gifts including hundreds of dollars' worth of Jameson Irish whiskey, European crystal, an Italian suit, a fur coat, and an English Mulberry handbag for Kim's wife, Ri Sol-ju.

International law experts insist that the gifts appear to be violations of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1718 and UNSCR 2094, as reported by Yahoo.

"Treasury cannot comment on possible investigations," Hagar Chemali, spokesperson for the Treasury Department's Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI), said in a statement.

Officials added that Rodman could have applied for an export license for the goods, according to federal regulations.

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"The Department is aware of the media allegations that Dennis Rodman may have transported luxury goods to North Korea. Our regulations require a license for the export or re-export to North Korea of all U.S.-origin items except food and certain medicines," Eugene Cottilli, spokesman for the Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security, told The Daily Beast. "We do not comment on possible or pending investigations. We have no further comment at this time."

Federal regulations defining "luxury goods" include: "luxury automobiles; yachts; gems; jewelry; other fashion accessories; cosmetics; perfumes; furs; designer clothing; luxury watches; rugs and tapestries; electronic entertainment software and equipment; recreational sports equipment; tobacco; wine and other alcoholic beverages; musical instruments; art; and antiques and collectible items, including but not limited to rare coins and stamps are subject to a general policy of denial."

The regulations state that the civil penalties for such a violation could be up to $250,000 or twice the value of goods delivered. The maximum criminal penalty Rodman could face, if prosecuted and convicted, is a $1 million fine and up to 20 years in prison.

 

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