SINGAPORE: A company was charged on Thursday (Aug 15) with supplying more than S$600,000 worth of luxury items to North Korea via Dalian, China.

Sinsms, a Singapore-based affiliate of China-based trading firm Dalian Sun Moon Star International Logistics Trading Co, was handed four charges under the United Nations (Sanctions – Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) Regulations 2010.

The company is accused of shipping luxury items in the form of wines and spirits to North Korea via China’s port city Dalian in Liaoning province between October 2016 and January 2017.

According to charge sheets, the company shipped the alcohol to North Korea on four different occasions.

The value of the wines and spirits per occasion was between about S$133,600 and S$201,000.

According to the United Nations (Sanctions – Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) Regulations 2010, anyone in Singapore is prohibited from shipping any items to North Korea for repair, servicing, refurbishing, testing, reverse-engineering or marketing.

The United States’ Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced in August last year that it would be targeting the shipping industry and others who help facilitate illicit shipments on behalf of North Korea.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said entities based in China, Singapore and Russia use tactics to evade sanctions prohibited under US law.

The statement said that Sinsms and its parent company “worked together to facilitate illicit shipments to North Korea using falsified shipping documents, including exports of alcohol, tobacco and cigarette-related products”.

According to the US Treasury, Sinsms handles exports to North Korea and trades in items from China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Cambodia.

The case will be heard again next month.

If found guilty, the maximum punishment for each charge is a S$1 million fine.