Singapore firm faces huge fines for supplying drinks, booze to North Korea

Original images: Pokka Singapore/Facebook, John Feffer
Original images: Pokka Singapore/Facebook, John Feffer

Two Singapore companies are being punished for sending sweet drinks and booze to the forbidden North Korea.

123 Duty Free and 123 Holdings, both private companies operating out of the same warehouse in Geylang Bahru, were each slapped today with five violations under domestic trade law and U.N. sanctions for exporting Pokka drinks and alcohol to North Korea.

The drinks include Pokka premium milk coffee, melon milk and strawberry milk, and wines and spirits, which are considered “luxury goods.” The violations allegedly occurred in 2017 and 2018 and were worth over S$1 million in total. 

Pokka International previously denied 2019 reports by news site NK News that it had dealings with North Korea.

Singapore has prohibited commercial trade with North Korea since 2017 at the height of nuclear tensions. In 2018, it provided the venue for a summit between former President Donald Trump and Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un.

Under the United Nations Act, all Singaporeans and anyone in Singapore is banned from selling or supplying luxury goods to North Korea.

If found guilty, 123 Duty Free could be fined up to S$100,000 or three times the value of goods for each charge, and 123 Holdings Pte Ltd. faces a fine of up to S$1million.

Both cases were adjourned to June 27.

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