5 Aug 2006

Singapore: N. Korea’s New Money Haven

AUGUST 05, 2006 03:14
It is reported that after the U.S. froze North Korea’s accounts in Macao’s bank, North Korea changed its account to a bank in Singapore.

The U.S. Department of Treasury listed this bank as being related to North Korea’s illegal funds and is currently conducting an investigation. There are also speculations that North Korean Foreign Minister Baek Nam Soon’s two visits to Singapore around the time of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) that was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, had a connection to the funds.

Singapore Becoming the New Safe Haven—

Recently, a source in Washington D.C. said, “With the American administration raising its pressure on North Korea’s funds in Macao, North Korea attempted to change its bank to Singapore, and the new haven is known as a small bank referred to as O Bank.”

On August 3, a U.S. government official also said in an interview with Dong-A Ilbo, “O Bank is a problem bank. This bank is on the list of banks related to North Korea, which the U.S. government keeps a close eye on.” With the U.S. tracing its funds, North Korea tried to disperse them, and by the official’s statement it was officially confirmed that Singapore, an international finance city, has become one of the safe havens.”

Mystery Regarding Minister Baek—

With the relation between O Bank and North Korea surfacing, Foreign Minister Baek’s two visits to Singapore around July 28, while ARF was held, are also drawing attention. Minister Baek left Pyongyang on July 25, stopped in Beijing, spent two days in Singapore and finally arrived at Kuala Lumpur in the afternoon of July 27. At the time, the South Korean government explained, “Minister Baek stopped by Singapore for kidney dialysis. It wasn’t for any particular reason.” Nevertheless, on his journey back home, Minister Back spent three days, from August 1 to 3, in Singapore, meeting with Singapore government officials.

When asked by Dong-A Ilbo if Minister Baek’s stay in Singapore was related to O Bank, the U.S. government official answered, “Don’t you think that it would be logical to think so?”

North Korean Cooperates in Counterfeit Dollar Investigation—

It was also reported that the U.S. government has grasped considerable information regarding the creation and distribution of North Korean counterfeit dollar bills, based on the testimonies of one or two North Koreans apprehended last year.

In the first half of last year, the Department of Justice arrested 87 Taiwanese triad gang members in Long Beach, California, and Atlantic City, New Jersey. They were charged with smuggling counterfeit dollar bills and tobacco. A U.S. government official stated, “It is true that some North Korean were among the arrested 87. However, they will not be punished because they cooperated with the investigation.”



6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Who cares where the money came from as long as it's money?

The Gov't is only too happy to embrace embezzled funds from Indonesia, and not to mention drug money from Burmese drug lords and their scions.

Sly said...

What do we expect from a country that has even traded with South Africa during the trade embargo against South Africa for its apatheied policy ?

Remember, Mr, Ngiam Tong Dow's admission that Singapore bought gold from South Africa (in a very roundabout way). All in his new book !

He was a former Permanent Secretary and now one of the prominent government's critic on several policies.

So much for principles and preaching to other countries !

Puzzled said...

Surprised to have NORTH KOREA as our bedfellow. Very Strange !

And North Korea is now accused of large scale counterfeiting and money laundering ?

Why our double standards ?
Surely it cannot all be boiled down to money ?

A country that has caused so much unstability in NorthEast Asia, with the support of China; and where nuclear technology has spread from China to N. Korea and to/from Pakistan. There are so many articles in our papers of the complicity and tacit support of China as far as N. Korea is concerned.

A country that has caused MILLIONS of their own people to die (famines, drought, jail, etc..)while keeping their 'mad' leader in high esteem. A county that have caused the hijacking and bombing in mid-air of civilian planes (Korean Airlines). A county that have kidnapped many S. Korean and Japanese civilians in the 60s and 70s.

So surreal !

Lately, China had no choice but to join in with the other UN Permanent members to condemn N. Korea since it wants to be seen as a 'responsible' country especially with the upcoming 2008 Olympics.

As the Vietnam-era song goes, '...when do we ever learn.'

It will be interesting to observe what the Straits Times have to say, if it is worth their 'salt'.


China and probably us in Singapore will learn a bitter lesson to have pariah bedfellows.

Anonymous said...

Bah, the pap gahmen has got no principles other than the principle of raking in as much cash as they can. It is the ultimate gahmen of materialism. All those talk of asian values and bullshit is just LKY's way of maintaining his iron grip on power. His misbegotten idea of asian values is for the citizens to have blind obedience and loyalty to the gahmen.

Allan said...

You are so right !

All these values and the 5 core values, etc.. were meant to consolidate power and not to question 'authority'.

Why 'consensus, not contention' was one of the 5 core values?

... when our leaders were far more contentious and radical in the early years.

...and even now in handling critics.

This 'value' is meant to make the citizens docile.

Matilah_Singapura said...

There's one consistent consequence which occurs whenever basket-case Turd whilrd Cuntries enter the market.

PROSTITUTION.

Observe the rise in prostitution from China, the former Soviet republics - the new "stan" countries, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam etc.

The women of these economic shitholes are hawking their pussies in the global free market, and apparently demand is "firm".

Look out. Here come the N Korean women, to warm the cockles of the hearts of Singapore's horny men, and of course the valiant global übermann from the expat community.

Oh, the FemmiNazis are going to be pissed off. So too the "do-gooders" who can't stop trying to "fix the problems of the world". Ain't that a shame?