North Korea is a country which has the highest number of embargo’s which means it has no access to goods from majority of countries on earth. Yet, the elite and especially, Kim Jong Un is always seen travelling in Rolls Royce, Merc and sporting some of the most luxurious goods available for money.
Recently, there was a very intriguing report published by Washington-based Center for Advanced Defense Studies (C4ADS).
C4ADS has found that on June 14, 2018, two armored Mercedes-Maybach S600 Guard vehicles, each priced at over $500,000, were shipped from the Dutch Port of Rotterdam, heading out on a journey that took months and saw the cars transported thousands of miles through six countries.
The report reveals that after stops in China, Japan, South Korea and Russia, the two cars have been flown to their final destination, Pyongyang. C4ADS found that North Korea imported at least $191 million worth of luxury goods from 2015 to 2017, sourced from as many as 90 countries in violation of United Nations sanctions. The report concluded Pyongyang has imported 803 luxury vehicles from 2015 to 2017, with the majority originating from Russian companies.
Daimler, the company which owns Mercedes has no idea how these cars got there because sale of vehicles by third party of used cars are very difficult to trace.
The investigation showed that two Mercedes left Rotterdam for Dalian, then made their way on to Osaka, Japan, and Busan, South Korea. From South Korea, they were shipped out on a vessel called the DN5505, per the bill of lading. Shortly after the DN5505 left South Korea, it was guessed that it headed towards Russian city of Nakhodka, where it was estimated to arrive on October 5. But from 1st Oct to 19th Oct, the ship went completely off the radar but was spotted around 20th Oct from where it disappeared near Nakhodka, but this time heading in the opposite direction back to Busan.
Fascinating but equally sinister isn’t it?