Singaporean jailed for selling strawberry milk, coffee to North Korea

SINGAPORE: A Singaporean man has been jailed for selling nearly US$1 million worth of strawberry milk and coffee to North Korea, following other sanctions-busting trades from the city-state that have included sending wine, whisky, and perfume to Pyongyang.

North Korea has been hit with a barrage of sanctions, including from the United Nations, over its nuclear and ballistic missile tests, while Singapore suspended trade ties with the country in 2017.

Phua Sze Hee, 59, a former manager at beverage company Pokka International, was sentenced to five weeks in jail on Monday after he pleaded guilty. From 2017 to 2018, he sold beverages including strawberry-flavoured milk and coffee drinks to several Singapore companies, knowing that they would be exported to North Korea for sale there.

He did not earn any commission from the sales, but it allowed him to meet his monthly sales targets, court documents said. While the soft drinks were destined for North Korea, leader Kim Jong-Un is known to have a taste for alcohol while his father Kim Jong-Il reportedly spent more than US$700,000 a year importing Hennessy cognac. The maximum punishment for exporting goods from Singapore to North Korea is a fine of up to SG $100,000 ($74,000) or three times the value of the goods exported, up to two years in jail, or both. – NDTV

by Daily News Sri Lanka

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