POKKA makes headlines for product shipment to North Korea
Wholesale suppliers 123 Holdings and 123 Duty Free have been charged with exporting POKKA drinks and alcohol to North Korea, multiple media outlets said including The Straits Times and Channel NewsAsia. According to media reports, 123 Duty Free faces five charges under the Regulation of Imports and Exports for exporting POKKA drinks to North Korea. Meanwhile, 123 Holdings faces five charges under the United Nations Act for supplying wines and spirits amounting to more than SG$720,000 to North Korea via China between November 2016 and July 2017.
News of reported illegal exports of POKKA products to North Korea first surfaced in 2019. POKKA's spokesperson explained previously that it requires a written declaration from all local exporters and local wholesalers that the ultimate destination is not North Korea and would immediately suspend business with customers in and outside Singapore that are suspected of trading in North Korea. The company also enforces "a firm policy" not to trade with distributors that export to North Korea directly or indirectly.
Aside from being embroiled in news about its products being exported to North Korea, POKKA has also made headlines since 2018 over its ambassador endorsement fee, ending its endorsement deal with near decade-long ambassador Vivian Lai, and suing ex-CEO Alain Ong for alleged conspiracy. Related articles:Former Pokka CEO Alain Ong and 2 Kimly directors charged for disclosure offences#LEAwards 2020 highlight: How POKKA brought Houjicha alive through experiential storytellingPOKKA ends endorsement deal with near decade-long ambassador Vivian LaiPOKKA International CEO Alain Ong reportedly tipped to join Kimly GroupMediacorp labels reports on POKKA ambassador endorsement fee 'speculative'Internal audit shakes up POKKA's management, puts marketing deal in limbo
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