2 women charged over transactions involving supply of luxury items to North Korea

Indonesian Sherly Muliawan (left) and Singaporean Lam Hon Lan are facing more than 100 charges. ST PHOTOS: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - Two women are facing more than 100 charges after allegedly failing to inform the police about transactions involving the supply of luxury items to North Korea worth more than $6.6 million.

The items included perfumes and watches but the brands were not revealed in court documents.

Both women appeared in a district court on Friday (June 26).

Indonesian Sherly Muliawan, 41, faces 79 charges under a United Nations Act, linked to luxury goods worth more than $6 million.

Police said the Singapore permanent resident worked for local firm T Specialist International, which supplied luxury items to North Korea between Nov 23, 2010 and Jan 5, 2017.

Court documents state that T Specialist International dealt with a North Korean company known as Bugsae Shop.

Singaporean Lam Hon Lan, 40, faces 43 counts involving more than $500,000 worth of luxury goods.

She is accused of committing the offences between Dec 27, 2010 and Nov 18, 2016.

Police said Lam worked for local company SCN Singapore while also handling administrative matters for two other firms - Sindok Trading and Laurich International.

The court heard on Friday that the firms allegedly dealt with North Korean companies, including Bugsae Shop and New Hope Joint Venture Corp.

United Nations sanctions prohibit people in Singapore or Singaporeans outside the country from selling or supplying certain luxury items to anyone in North Korea.

T Specialist International was fined $880,000 last year for supplying luxury items to a person in North Korea on 10 occasions and two money-laundering charges.

Its Singaporean director, Ng Kheng Wah, 57, was sentenced to 34 months' jail after pleading guilty to 10 counts of cheating and illegally supplying luxury items to North Korea.

North Korean Li Hyon, 32, had earlier pleaded guilty here to four counts of engaging in a conspiracy with other people and two companies - T Specialist International and SCN Singapore - to deliver luxury goods to his home country. He was sentenced to four weeks' jail last Tuesday.

The cases involving SCN Singapore, Sindok Trading and Laurich International are still pending.

The court heard on Friday that Lam intends to plead guilty on July 21, while Sherly will do likewise eight days later. They were each offered bail of $30,000.

Committing offences under the Act before March 10, 2014, can bring jail terms for up to five years and fines.

Offences committed after March 10, 2014, can result in jail for up to 10 years and fines.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.