Singapore vows to crack down on arms trafficking

SINGAPORE - Singapore will not hesitate to crack down on any parties involved in illicit trafficking of weapons, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Home Affairs said in a joint statement on Friday.

"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," said the statement.

"We will not hesitate to take action against individuals and/or companies that fail to comply with the relevant Singapore legislation that we have put in place to give effect to measures prescribed by United Nations Security Council resolutions."

The statement came after the United States last week blacklisted Singapore-based Senat Shipping for supporting illicit arms shipments into North Korea.

Senat said it had "for many years chartered North Korean vessels to operate on the global spot market" but all these were legitimate commercial transactions.

Last year, Singapore charged Chinpo, another Singapore-registered shipping company, with transferring US$70,000 (S$96,000) to a company when it had reason to believe that the money could be used to fund a North Korean weapons programme.

"As this matter is now before the Courts, we are not able to discuss the case further," the statement said.