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Man allegedly involved in North Korea oil sale attempts suicide

2018/01/19 12:53:26

Taipei, Jan. 19 (CNA) A Taiwanese businessman accused of selling oil to North Korea attempted suicide Friday, a week after he and his companies were put on a sanctions list by Taiwanese authorities.

Chen Shih-hsien (陳世憲) took sleeping pills in an attempt to kill himself at his home in Kaohsiung Friday morning and was rushed to a local hospital, police said.

After emergency treatment, he was discharged as his condition was deemed not life-threating, according to a doctor at the hospital.

Chen is suspected of chartering a Hong Kong-registered tanker through Billions Bunker Group, which has the same address in Taiwan as Chen's fishing companies in Kaohsiung, for the alleged transshipment of oil to a North Korean vessel in mid-October.

Chen's ship was seized by South Korean customs officials in November, which prompted an investigation by Taiwan authorities.

On Jan. 2, Chen was summoned for questioning by Kaohsiung prosecutors, then released on bail of NT$1.5 million (US$50,700) and barred from leaving the country.

Ten days later, the Ministry of Justice-led Terrorism Financing Prevention Review Committee put him on a sanctions list, along with Billions Bunker Group Corp., which is registered in the British Virgin Islands; Billions Bunker Group Corp. registered in the Marshall Islands; Oceanic Enterprise Co. Ltd.; and UMC Corporation Peru S.A.C, all companies that are related to Chen.

The sanctions listing means that Chen and his overseas companies cannot make withdrawals, remittances, transfers or payments, the ministry said.

(By Chen Chao-fu and Y.F. Low)
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