Dennis Rodman Investigated for Violating North Korean Sanctions

Image: Dennis Rodman Investigated for Violating North Korean Sanctions Dennis Rodman, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Kim's wife Ri Sol Ju at an exhibition basketball game between American and North Korean players at the Pyongyang Indoor Stadium on Jan. 8.

Friday, 24 Jan 2014 09:15 AM

By Melanie Batley

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Federal authorities are investigating Dennis Rodman for possibly violating U.S. and international sanctions by bringing thousands of dollars in luxury gifts to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un for his birthday earlier this month.

The basketball star reportedly brought gifts worth more than $10,000 for 31-year-old Kim, including hundreds of dollars worth of Irish Jameson whiskey, European crystal, an Italian suit, fur coat, an English Mulberry handbag for Kim's wife, Ri Sol Ju, as well as at least several bottles of his own liquor brand, Bad Ass Vodka, The Daily Beast reports.

U.N. Security Resolution 1718, which was adopted in 2006 after North Korea's nuclear test, bans the export of "luxury goods" to North Korea. In addition, an American law called the International Emergency Economic Powers act, signed by President Barack Obama in 2010, also makes it illegal to export luxury goods to North Korea.

Treasury and State Department officials are currently looking in to whether Rodman violated the law, one official told The Daily Beast, though the Treasury has said it cannot comment on the investigation.

"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 reexport 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."

It's unclear whether Rodman applied for an export license for the goods.

If prosecuted and convicted, Rodman could face a fine of up to $1 million and 20 years in prison.

Rodman visited Pyongyang earlier this month to celebrate Jong Un's birthday during which he led an auditorium of North Koreans in singing "Happy Birthday" and hosted a basketball exhibition game.

He also sparked outrage after suggesting Kenneth Bae, an American prisoner in North Korea, was responsible for his captivity.

Rodman is currently seeking treatment for alcohol abuse at a rehabilitation clinic.

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