Singapore has charged two individuals and three companies for their alleged involvement in exporting gasoil to North Korea, in violation of the United Nations sanctions.
According to a statement by the Singapore Police Force on Thursday (Dec 23), Kwek Kee Seng and Justin Low Eng Yeow were accused of supplying about 12,260 tonnes of gasoil to North Korea between September and November 2019, using an oil tanker called MT Courageous. The gasoil was delivered through ship-to-ship transfers and at North Korea’s Nampo Port.
The police said Kwek had conspired with five other individuals based overseas to arrange and facilitate the gasoil supply, while Low had conducted financial transactions through one of the companies’ bank account to enable the gasoil supply.
The two men were charged with seven counts each under the United Nations (Sanctions – Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) Regulations 2010, which prohibit the export of any item to North Korea without the approval of the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
The three companies involved were Anfasar Trading, Swanseas Port Services, and ISA Energy, which are related to Kwek and Low. The companies were also charged with seven counts each under the same regulations.
In addition, Kwek was charged with two counts of falsifying accounts, five counts of acquiring benefits from criminal conduct, and three counts of obstructing the course of justice. The police said Kwek had allegedly lied to the investigation officer, disposed of a phone containing evidence, and failed to inform the police about another gasoil supply to North Korea by another vessel, MT Viet Tin 01, in February 2019.
The case will be heard again in January. If convicted, the individuals could face up to 10 years’ imprisonment, a fine, or both, for each charge under the United Nations regulations. The companies could face a fine of up to S$1 million for each charge under the same regulations.
The police said Singapore takes its obligations under the United Nations Security Council resolutions seriously, and will not tolerate any activities that undermine the sanctions against North Korea. The police also warned that anyone who engages in such activities will be dealt with firmly and in accordance with the law.