Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Singapore jails man for North Korea exports




Singapore jails man for North Korea exports

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Li Hyon was jailed for four weeks in Singapore on Tuesday for his role in supplying luxury goods to a North Korean department store chain. THE STRAITS TIMES/ANN

Singapore jails man for North Korea exports

A 32-year-old man was jailed for four weeks in Singapore on Tuesday for his role in supplying luxury goods to a North Korean department store chain in an operation that breached UN sanctions.

Li Hyon, who is North Korean, pleaded guilty to four counts of engaging in a conspiracy with other people and two companies – T Specialist International (S) Pte Ltd and SCN Singapore Pte Ltd – to deliver luxury goods, such as cosmetics and spirits, to North Korea, court documents said.

Ten other similar charges were taken into consideration during sentencing by Senior District Judge Bala Reddy.

The UN has placed sanctions on North Korea since 2006, making it illegal to sell, among other things, luxury items to the country.

Singapore has also banned the sale of these items to North Korea for several years.

Court documents state that Li’s father, Li Ik, owns a department store chain in North Korea, named Korean Bugsae Shop.

From November 2010 to January 2017, T Specialist International supplied luxury items worth more than S$6 million (US$4.3 million) to Korean Bugsae Shop. This was done via transshipment through Dalian in China.

The North Korean store chain also received luxury items worth more than S$500,000 from SCN Singapore from December 2010 to November 2016, court documents said.

T Specialist International was fined S$880,000 and its director, Ng Kheng Wah, jailed for 34 months in November last year for various offences including their involvement in the scheme.

SCN Singapore’s case is still pending.

The court heard on Tuesday that Li Hon started helping his father to source for goods to be supplied from Singapore after completing his studies in 2014. Court documents did not state if he was paid for his assistance.

He served as the contact liaison between Li Ik and the Singaporean companies between late 2014 and early 2017, when his father travelled frequently to North Korea and was not easily contactable.

Under his father’s instructions, he ordered luxury goods from the companies and facilitated the payment to them, among other things.

Li Hyon also hand-carried luxury items to North Korea on three occasions.

In submitting that the harm caused in this case was slight, deputy public prosecutors Grace Lim, Tham Jia Min and Charis Low said there was no evidence to suggest the luxury items or proceeds from the sale of such items were used to facilitate North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme.

They said: “However, there was appreciable harm to Singapore’s international reputation and standing, and increased risk for the broader Singapore financial and economic sectors.”

For each of his offences, Li could be jailed for up to 10 years and fined up to S$500,000.

THE STRAITS TIMES (SINGAPORE)/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

MOST VIEWED

  • Tourists urged not to skip trip

    The Ministry of Tourism has called on international tourists not to cancel trips to Cambodia, but urged them to adhere to several dos and don’ts when arriving in the Kingdom during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministry released an eight-point instruction manual on Wednesday published

  • The taxman cometh – Cambodia’s capital gains tax casts the net on individual taxpayers

    In a country where only limited personal income tax existed, the new taxation law beginning January 1, 2021, will make taxpayers out of Cambodians, whether they are ready for it or not About two years ago, a little known amendment was made to Article 7 of the Law

  • Cambodian-American gets Star Trek treatment

    Kevin Ung, a Cambodian-American whose family escaped genocide during the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror, was recently selected from thousands of applicants to participate in the Television Academy Foundation’s inaugural 2020 Star Trek Command Training Programme, a course intended to give hands-on filmmaking experience

  • Cambodia seeks to be transport hub

    Cambodia is working on several fronts to modernise its transport infrastructure and services, concentrating on opening new international gates to relieve and balance traffic congestion at its borders, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said on Thursday. This is part of the Kingdom’

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • Singapore Fintech start-up enters Sihanoukville

    Singapore-based fintech start-up Fincy on Wednesday announced the expansion of its cashless payment system to Sihanoukville to tap into the southwestern coastal city’s ever-widening business and investment landscape. The move is in line with the National Bank of Cambodia’s (NBC’s) recommendations to