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S'pore firm charged with offences linked to N.Korea arms shipment

Singapore-registered Chinpo Shipping and a company executive have been implicated in the shipment of arms and related material bound for North Korea.

SINGAPORE: Criminal charges have been filed against a Singapore-registered shipping company implicated in the shipment of arms and related material to North Korea, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said in a joint statement on Tuesday (June 10).

The charges were filed on Tuesday against Chinpo Shipping and Tan Hui Tin following an investigation by the Singapore Police Force, the statement said. Tan, a Singapore citizen, is believed to be the company’s accounts executive.

The Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) said one charge is related to Chinpo Shipping transferring US$72,016.76 from its Bank of China account on July 8, 2013, "having reason to believe that the money may be used to contribute to the nuclear-related, ballistic missile-related, or other weapons of mass destruction-related programs or activities of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea".

The company also faces a second charge of violating the Money-changing and Remittance Business Act, by operating a remittance business when not licensed to do so, the AGC added.

Tan, 50, was charged for intentionally aiding a company shareholder Mr Tan Cheng Hoe, 80, from not producing one server CPU and two thumbdrives to a Commercial Affairs Officer, according to the AGC. Channel NewsAsia understands Mr Tan is the father of Tan Hui Tin.

District Judge Eddy Tham has scheduled a pre-trial conference for the case on Aug 1, 2014.

MFA and MHA said Singapore received information in January this year that a Singapore-registered company had been "implicated in the shipment of arms and related material bound for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea from Cuba that was interdicted by Panama in July 2013".

The Government immediately launched an investigation into the case, the ministries said, adding that Singapore takes a serious view of its international obligations to prevent the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).

"As a responsible member of the international community, Singapore has given full effect in our domestic legislation to the measures prescribed by United Nations Security Council resolutions and will take action against any individuals and/or companies that flout these," the ministries said.

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