Japanese police arrest S. Korean bizman for breaking N. Korea sanction law
Japanese police said Thursday that they have arrested a South Korean businessman who circumvented the country's sanction law by exporting chocolates, cookies and miscellaneous goods to North Korea.
Law enforcement authorities said they have apprehended the CEO of a Tokyo-based trading company for violating Japan's foreign exchange transaction act.
The 48-year-old in custody has only been identified by his family name of Kim.
The arrest marks the first time that Japan has taken action to penalize a person for shipping banned products through Singapore to the North, after it announced tougher unilateral actions against the isolationist country for testing a nuclear device and firing off a long-range missile this year.
The local police said the trading company shipped 187 boxes of chocolates, cookies, dried rice cakes, underwear, sandals and cutlery to Pyongyang via Singapore in January 2014. It said the products went to North Korea's elite and allowed Kim to make a tidy profit. It estimated the shipment totaled some 68.9 million won (US$56,000).
They claimed that Kim received payment from the North through a overseas financial institution.
Related to the charges, local media outlets said that Kim confessed to exporting goods to Singapore but denied knowing where the products went from there.
Tokyo implemented sanctions against the North starting in June 2009, banning all exports. In 2003 the country shipped 107.7 billion won worth of goods to the North, but this fell to zero in 2010.