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Taiwan: Second suspect found selling fuel to North Korean vessels

02 Feb 2018

A second suspect has been found allegedly selling fuel to North Korean vessels after a raid at his house and office on Tuesday, reports the Taipei Times.

Taiwanese prosecutors spent Thursday questioning Taiwanese shipping merchant Chuang Chin-hung, who owns an unnamed Kaohsiung-based shipping firm and trading company registered in the Marshall Islands.

Chuang is suspected of loading 7,000 metric tonnes of diesel onto the Jin Hye oil tanker in December last year; the 1986-built vessel is a Sierra Leonean-registered oil tanker.

Investigations instead found the vessel making several trips between from Taichung port to an undisclosed location in the East China Sea during the months of November and December last year.

Prosecutors also believe Chuang forged export declarations by declaring the diesel delivery as being headed for Hong Kong, instead of the East China Sea.

In his defence, Chuang claimed the oil tanker was chartered to a Hong Kong businessman in 2017 and was unaware of the vessel’s activities during the charter period; he was release on a NT $2 million ($68,500) bail.

Taiwan officials are meanwhile investigating Chen Shih-hsien, who is suspected of chartering an oil tanker through the Billions Bunker Group, for delivering bunker fuel to a North Korean vessel in October last year.

Related: Billions Bunker Group registered tankers denied port entry
Related: Taiwan-based Billions Bunker Group de-registered
Related: Bunker fuel involved in sanctioned North Korea trade

Published: 2 Feb, 2018

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