District judge Jasvender Kaur convicted Chinpo Shipping Company of transferring money that would be used for North Korea’s nuclear-related and other arms programmes. Chinpo was also found guilty of running a remittance business without a valid licence from 2009 to 2013. Chinpo’s director is 82 year old Mr Tan Cheng Hoe.
These offences were discovered after the North Korean ship MV Chong Chon Gang was interdicted by Panama in July 2013. 2 MIG-21 fighter jets, anti-tank rockets and Russian SA-2 SA-3 surface-to-air missile systems were found hidden in the cargo hold under 10,500 tonnes of sugar.
Chinpo Shipping Company sent S$101,630 from its bank account to a Panama shipping agent to facilitate the return passage of the Chong Chon Gang. This money was necessary payment for the transportation of arms from Cuba to North Korea.
This is the largest amount of arms or arms-related material interdicted to or from North Korea. The maximum punishment for violating Regulation 12(b) of the United Nations (Sanctions – Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) Regulations 2010 is a S$100,000 fine and 5 years imprisonment.