Singapore company charged in North Korea missile ship case

Part of arms shipment discovered by Panamanian authorities Part of arms shipment discovered by Panamanian authorities

JUNE 11, 2014 — Singapore has filed criminal charges against a Singapore registered shipping company and a Singapore citizen in connection with last year's incident in which Panamanian authorities found two Soviet-era MiG-21 fighter aircraft, air defense systems, missiles and command and control vehicles hidden under the sugar cargo of a North Korean vessel headed home from Cuba.

Yesterday, Chinpo Shipping Company Ltd. was charged with transferring $72,000 to a Panama shipping agent knowing that the funds could be used to contribute to the "nuclear-related, ballistic missile-related, or other weapons of mass destruction-related programs or activities" of North Korea. Chinpo executive Tan Hui Tin, the daughter of Chinpo's chairman, was charged with withholding potential electronic evidence.

Following is the text of a statement released by Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Home Affairs

Joint MFA-MHA Press Statement in response to media queries about the criminal charges filed against the Singapore-registered company Chinpo Shipping Company (Private) Limited

In response to media queries about the criminal charges filed against the Singapore-registered company Chinpo Shipping Company (Private) Limited, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Home Affairs issued the following statement:

"In January this year, Singapore received information that a Singapore-registered company had been implicated in the shipment of arms and related materiel bound for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) from Cuba that was interdicted by Panama in July 2013.

The Government of Singapore immediately launched an investigation into this case. The Singapore Police Force has completed its investigation and the Public Prosecutor has filed criminal charges against Chinpo Shipping Company (Private) Limited and a Singapore citizen, Tan Hui Tin. The parties have been charged in Court for the offences on 10 June 2014. The nature of the criminal charges can be ascertained from the charge sheets, available upon request from the Attorney-General's Chambers.

Singapore takes a serious view of our international obligations to prevent the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), their means of delivery and related materials. 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."