Singapore fines shipper linked to weapons supply to North Korea

Chinpo paid a Panamanian shipping agent to set up the passage of a North Korean vessel laden with weapons.

A district court in Singapore has slapped a fine of $180,000 ($125,698) on a shipping company found guilty of facilitating a shipment of arms to North Korea.

The court had ruled in December that Singapore-based Chinpo Shipping Company (Private) Ltd was guilty of two criminal charges related to an illegal shipment of arms on a North Korean container ship, in violation of UN sanctions.

In 2014, a UN report had named Chinpo shipping for allegedly arranging the shipment of Cuba-made fighter jets and missile parts to North Korea. The consignment had been intersected and seized in Panama in 2013.

It was alleged that Chinpo had paid a Panamanian shipping agent to set up the passage of a North Korean vessel through the Panama Canal.

The vessel was carrying weapon parts and arms including surface-to-air missile systems, anti-tank rockets, two fighter jets, 15 aircraft engines and parts of surface-to-air missile systems -- all hidden under a consignment of sugar.

The court concluded that Chinpo had transferred financial assets or resources that could have been used to contribute to North Korea's weapon programs, Reuters reported.

The Singapore District Court said this was the biggest illegal shipment of arms to North Korea from any part of the world since the UN imposed sanctions on the reclusive state for pursuing the nuclear programme.

The court also found Chinpo guilty of running a remittance business without valid license between 2009 and 2013.