-On the surface, there is nothing remarkable about this sleepy fishing port in Maputo.
But hidden from view, wedged between the other boats and ships docked there, are the rusty Susan 1 and Susan 2. These are not ordinary fishing vessels, but sanctions-busting trawlers manned by crews from North Korea.
Pyongyang’s interest in a couple of aging African trawlers may seem odd at first. But fishing is big business in Mozambique — it’s one of the country’s most lucrative industries. North Korea wants a slice of that much-needed cash, and boats are easy to move and conceal.
Joint fishing ventures are just one area of illicit trade the two countries are engaged in. In a months-long investigation, CNN uncovered a secret web of front companies, military cooperation and elite-forces training deals between North Korea and Mozambique, all in violation of international sanctions, according to United Nations investigators.
Documents reviewed by CNN show that the cooperation is sealed with illegal contracts worth millions of dollars. The money is funneled through regionally based North Korean diplomats to Pyongyang, some 7,500 miles away.