Singapore Finds Chinpo Shipping Guilty of Illegal Arms Shipping

Singapore-based Chinpo Shipping was found guilty of being involved in illegal arms shipping from Cuba to North Korea aboard a general cargo ship in 2013 by a district court in Singapore on Monday, according to Reuters.

The company was charged for facilitating financial assets or resources that could have been used to contribute to North Korea’s weapon programs.

According to the court, the company paid off a Panama shipping company over USD 72,000 for the passage of the 1977-built North Korean vessel Chong Chon Gang through the Panama Canal.

At the time, Chong Chon Gang was carrying “the largest amount of arms and related materiel” seized entering or exiting North Korea since the adoption of UN economic and commercial sanctions in 2006. The illegal cargo was hidden underneath over ten tons of sugar.

After the illegal shipment was found, the vessel’s captain and the first officer were sentenced to twelve years in prison by Panama’s Second Circuit Court.

Chinpo Shipping was also found guilty for carrying on a remittance business without a license between April 2009 and July 2013.

The court is expected to define a sentence on January 29, 2016.

As reported by World Maritime News, Singaporean Senat Shipping Company, a company blacklisted by the US for alleged links to arms import activities with the North Korean shipping company Ocean Maritime Management Company (OMMC), had chartered Chinpo Shipping’s cargo vessel Chong Chon Gang before the ship was seized.

The company was not the charterer of the vessel at the time of its arrest.

World Maritime News Staff

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