Dennis Rodman 'investigated for violating sanctions' against North Korea

Former NBA star's lavish birthday gifts for 'friend for life' Kim Jong-un may have violated international sanctions imposed on North Korea

Dennis Rodman is reportedly being investigated by the US Treasury on suspicions that he violated sanctions against North Korea by splashing thousands of dollars in luxury gifts for Kim Jong-un.

On his fourth trip to Pyongyang, the former NBA player allegedly showered "friend for life" Kim with expensive gifts to celebrate his 31st birthday. These reportedly included Irish Jameson whiskey, a fur coat, an Italian suit, several bottles of his "Bad Ass Premium Vodka" brand and a Mulberry handbag for his wife, Ri Sol-ju.

A US official told the Daily Beast the Treasury Department is investigating whether Rodman violated US sanctions under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act signed by President Barack Obama in 2010, which makes it illegal for US citizens to "import, export, or reexport" luxury goods to or into North Korea.

Rodman's gifts also appear to violate UN sanctions imposed on North Korea prohibiting "the provision of luxury goods" adopted in 2007. These were reinforced last year after the country conducted its third nuclear test in February 2013.

Eugene Cottilli, a spokesman for the US Department of Commerce, told The Independent: "The Department is aware of the media allegations that Dennis Rodman may have transported luxury goods to North Korea.

"Our regulations require a licence for the export or re-export to North Korea of all US-origin items except food and certain medicines."

He added: "We do not comment on possible or pending investigations, and have no further comment at this time."

Michael Spavor, a Canadian consultant based in China, who joined Rodman on his trip to North Korea, posted a picture on his Twitter account where the former basketball player is seen standing next Kim and what appears to be five bottles of Rodman's "Bad Ass Premium Vodka".

Spavor declined to comment.

Dennis Rodman defends North Korea trip for Kim Jong Un's birthday celebrations in bizarre TV meltdown  

Rodman, 52, attended Kim's birthday celebrations earlier this month accompanied by a team of former NBA players to play friendly game against the communist state to honour the dictator, who is believed to have turned 31.

Rodman checked into a rehabilitation centre last week seeking treatment for his problems with alcohol. His agent, Darren Prince, said the retired NBA star had returned from North Korea in "rough shape emotionally".

Dennis Rodman admitted to alcohol rehab centre after visiting North Korean leader Kim Jong-un

Prince said Rodman had been drinking when he commented on the case of detained American missionary Kenneth Bae in a bizarre interview with CNN, for which he later apologised after he swore and shouted at presenter Chris Cuomo when asked if he would use his influence to help Bae.

A spokesperson for the US Treasury Department’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence said: "We cannot comment on possible investigations".

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
peopleBenjamin Netanyahu trolled by group promoting two-state solution
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
Life and Style
fashionEveryone, apparently
Voices
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs
voicesJustine Elyot: Since Fifty Shades there's no need to be secretive about it — everyone's at it
Arts and Entertainment
A new Banksy entitled 'Art Buff' has appeared in Folkestone, Kent
art
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
Arts and Entertainment
The White Sails Hospital and Spa is to be built in the new Tunisia Economic City.
architectureRussian billionaire designs boat-shaped hospital for new Dubai-style Tunisia Economic City
Sport
Husain Abdullah returns an interception off Tom Brady for a touchdown
nflLeague has rules against 'sliding to ground on knees'
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
Life and Style
tech
Extras
indybest
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Maths teacher require...

KS1 Teacher

£21500 - £31500 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to work...

Java Developer - web services, XML and API

£330 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Lond...

Maths Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Reading: Maths Teacher required to teach Furthe...

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style