Hamilton company charged with flouting UN sanctions

A Hamilton company has been charged with exporting aircraft parts to North Korea, breaching United Nations sanctions.

New Zealand Customs confirmed yesterday charges had been filed against Pacific Aerospace for three alleged breaches of UN sanctions against Kim Jong Un’s regime.

There is also one charge under local customs and excise laws.

One of Pacific Aerospace’s planes — a single-engined P-750 XSTOL — was seen at a North Korean air show last September.

A UN Security Council report from February said the company sold and delivered the aircraft to a Chinese company a year earlier, Fairfax reported.

It was sold to another Chinese company before arriving in North Korea in December 2015.

The UN report said the case highlighted a trend whereby luxury items in manufacturers’ countries are transferred to third countries with different criteria for luxury goods prior to their end use in North Korea.

Emails in the report allegedly show Pacific Aerospace was aware of the plane’s presence in North Korea and planned to provide a replacement flap motor, tools and training to fix a problem with the aircraft.

The maximum punishment for breaching the UN sanctions is 12 months’ imprisonment or a $100,000 fine and, for breaching the Customs and Excise Act, $1000 for an individual or $5000 for a body corporate.

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