Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said that it is looking into whether Senat Shipping and Trading has breached United Nations resolutions or the city-state’s laws in the company’s dealings with North Korean companies. The MFA issued the 25 July statement two days after the US Treasury blacklisted Senat and its president Leonard Lai under the Office of Foreign Assets Control. The blacklist was due to Senat’s alleged assistance in shipping arms illicitly to North Korea, after the bulker Chong Chon Gang, owned by North Korean company Ocean Maritime Management Company, was seized near the Panama Canal. Soviet-era arms and fighter jets were concealed below sugar cargoes. The loot came from Cuba. In a 24 July statement, Lai admitted to having done business with North Korean companies and chartering in Chong Chon Gang for trading in the spot market, but denied any wrongdoing. An MFA spokesman said UN Security Council experts wrote to Senat in September 2014 seeking information about its alleged links with OMMC, which has been sanctioned by the UN. UN sanctions were imposed on North Korea after the Communist country conducted nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009. The MFA spokesman said, “Subsequently, the Singapore authorities issued an advisory note to Senat reminding the company of its obligations under Singapore law to report any information on dealings with companies or nationals under United Nations sanctions.” In particular, Senat was advised that it was under an ongoing duty to provide information to the police, in line with the sanctions. The MFA spokesman said, “To date, Senat has not responded to either the Singapore authorities or the UN Panel of Experts regarding these allegations. “Singapore takes a serious view of our obligations to prevent the illicit trafficking of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), their means of delivery and related materials. While we do not implement unilateral sanctions imposed by other countries, we are bound by UN Security Council resolutions, including those on North Korea. “MFA is working with relevant authorities to investigate if UN resolutions or Singapore laws have been breached in light of this new development. We will not hesitate to take action if it is warranted.”
This post was sourced from IHS Maritime 360: View the original article here.