S'pore company charged with exporting S$341000 worth of Pokka drinks to North Korea
A beverage company in Singapore has been charged with exporting various Pokka drinks to North Korea. This is a follow-up to reports in 2019 that shed light on Pokka Singapore's alleged exports, stating that drinks they manufactured were seen being sold in hotels, bars and markets in Pyongyang. An investigation was then conducted by Singapore authorities into the incident. According to CNA, one of the two companies charged, 123 Duty Free, faces five charges under the Regulation of Imports and Exports Regulations. From April to August 2018, it had allegedly exported over S$341,000 worth of drinks such as milk coffee, melon milk and strawberry milk to North Korea.
If convicted, 123 Duty Free could be fined up to S$100,000 or three times the value of the goods, whichever is higher, for a first offence. For repeat offences, the company could be fined S$200,000 or four times the value of the goods, whichever is higher. Speaking to NK News, who broke the story, Pokka added it had been fully cooperating with the authorities: "We are rendering full cooperation to the authorities in relation to matters/events that largely took place prior to Sept. A 2019 statement published on Pokka's website by Shofu stated that media reports of their alleged exports to North Korea "contain many false and unsubstantiated claims".
Shofu reassured the public it has no dealings with North Korea, in line with national laws and UN sanctions. "We enforce a firm policy not to trade with distributors that export to North Korea directly or indirectly and have robust internal policies in place that would prevent the execution of a trade with a distributor in North Korea. Shofu also claimed that the company requires a written declaration from its exporters and wholesalers that its products will not be shipped to North Korea. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) then issued a statement to Today: "Singapore will not hesitate to take action against any entity that breaches our laws and regulations which give effect to the United Nations Security Council Resolutions.
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