Dhaka yesterday denied entry of a North Korean ship to Chittagong Port as the UN Security Council had imposed embargo on the ship's owning company for carrying prohibited arms over a year ago.
On information, Bangladesh Navy halted the ship intending to enter the country's territorial sea around 8:00pm, diplomatic sources said.
The Panama flag-carrying cargo vessel MV ZHONG DE1, IMO No. 8715493, was actually owned by Ocean Maritime Management Company Ltd (OMM) of North Korea.
The UN Security Council included the OMM on its sanctions list on 28 July, 2014 as it played a key role in arranging the shipment of concealed cargo of arms and related materials from Cuba to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in July 2013.
Dhaka as a member of the UN has decided not to allow the DPRK cargo vessel to enter its territory although the ship was carrying cement clinkers from Vietnam, diplomatic sources said.
A Bangladeshi importer was importing the clinker but he was not aware about the ship's status as it was hired by the exporting company.
An official of Chittagong Port said the ship had a capacity of 37,000 tonnes, but it was carrying 43,000 tonnes, raising questions whether it was transporting other items.
“The ship bearing the flag of Panama came to Bangladesh several times in the past. But this time we halted it after being confirmed that it is owned by the OMM of North Korea,” said a senior official at the foreign ministry.