Edinburgh grad set up firm to help North Korea expand their nuclear programme

He moved to North Korea in 1995 to become a banker

Some students move to London to work for JP Morgan after graduating. Nigel Cowie jumped ship and went to Pyongyang.

After completing his studies at the University of Edinburgh, banker Nigel Cowie completed a short stint working at HSBC in Hong Kong before moving to Kim Jong-Il’s North Korea in 1995.

Fluent in Korean and Chinese, he quickly rose up the ranks to become CEO of Daedong Credit Bank – an internationally sanctioned bank operating out of a Pyongyang hotel.

In the recently revealed Panama Papers it was uncovered that he later set up a shell company, called DCB Finance, who were involved  in international financial transactions with North Korea.

These international financial transactions were said to involve the selling of arms and expansion of North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme.

Cowie has stated that he has since left banking to focus on other business commitments but investigations continue into his involvement with North Korean military funding.

This was an unconventional career path for an Edinburgh grad, to say the least.