Macau bank agrees to ditch N Korea links

A bank in Macau has agreed to sever all ties with North Korea following international pressure.

Banco Delta Asia was accused by the US Treasury Department of money laundering on behalf of the insular communist state.

The bank has now ended business with Pyongyang and is appealing to Washington not to impose restrictions on its operations over the counterfeiting allegations.

The bank's lawyers said in a statement: "Banco Delta Asia has terminated its business with North Korean entities and is implementing new, enhanced anti-money laundering policies and procedures."

Investigators from the US Treasury accused Banco Delta Asia of posing an "illicit financial threat" to the international community and criticised the failure by authorities in Macau to tackle issues of money laundering.

The government of the tiny east Asian state of Macau, which has a population of under half a million people, brought the bank under state control after the US allegations led to a rush on funds.

Banco Delta Asia has also appointed accountants Ernst and Young and Deloitte Touche to monitor clients and develop new rules to combat counterfeiting and money laundering.

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