A 44-year-old male Singaporean, Tan Wee Beng, was convicted of seven counts of falsification of papers with intent to defraud under Section 477A of the Penal Code, according to a Wednesday (20 October) statement from the Singapore Police Force (SPF).
Tan Wee Beng is the managing director and a shareholder of a commodity trading company, Wee Tiong (S) Pte Ltd. He was sentenced to a fine of SGD 210,000 (in default seven months’ imprisonment). Another 13 similar charges were taken into consideration for sentencing.
Wee Tiong (S) Pte Ltd sold sugar and other goods to two persons from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) through their respective companies prior to 2017, with payments for those sales made to Wee Tiong (S) Pte Ltd and its related company, Morgan Marcos Pte Ltd.
Investigations by the Commercial Affairs Department revealed that between November 2016 and October 2017, Tan Wee Beng received queries from two banks about deposits made to Wee Tiong (S) Pte Ltd and Morgan Marcos Pte Ltd.
These deposits were payments for sales of goods to the DPRK persons. Tan Wee Beng was concerned that the banks would terminate their relationship with the companies if either bank found out that Wee Tiong (S) Pte Ltd had transacted with entities linked to the DPRK.
To conceal this from the banks, Tan Wee Beng falsified the invoices of both companies. The names of the end buyers, and in some cases, destination ports on the invoices, were changed to remove any links to the DPRK. Tan Wee Beng then signed the false invoices and submitted them to the banks.
According to The United Nations (Sanctions-DPRK) Regulations 2010 prohibits any person in Singapore or citizen of Singapore outside of Singapore, from supplying, selling or transferring any designated export item or designated luxury item to any person in the DPRK, or procuring any designated import item from any person in the DPRK.
From 8 November 2017, the prohibition includes all commercially traded goods to or from the DPRK.
“The Regulations give effect to sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council on the DPRK. Singapore takes its obligations under the United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs) seriously, and implements them fully and faithfully,” states the SPF..
“The Police take a serious view of persons who abuse Singapore’s financial system and will not hesitate to take swift action against the individuals or entities that breach our laws and regulations.”
Related: Former Director and shareholder of Wee Tiong (S) Pte Ltd pleads guilty to DPRK linked transactions
Related: Singapore marine fuels firm WT Marine in OFAC sanctions blacklist
Related: Singaporean MD on FBI most wanted list charged with fraud over North Korean dealings
Photo credit: FBI
Published: 21 October, 2021
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