Two staff members of a local trading company, Royal Team Corporation, were indicted yesterday on charges related to exporting precision machinery and workstation computers to North Korea to produce missile components or nuclear weaponry.
The Taipei Prosecutors' Office, which carried out the investigation and issued the indictment, said the owner of Royal Team Corporation, Liu Chen-yi, and an employee Chen Shu-chen (陳淑貞) had cooperated with prosecutors and admitted to the charges, therefore the prosecutors recommend that they be given a minimal suspended sentence.
According to the indictment, Liu and Chen in 2006 received an order from Korea Daesongsan Information Technology Exchange Corporation for the purchase of a number of restricted products. An application was then made for customs clearance and for an export permit to ship the merchandise to China and Macou. From there, it was shipped to North Korea by North Korean representatives in China and Macou.
In January, an investigation was launched into the matter by the Taichung branch of Department of Investigation for Shipping, Investigation Bureau, after it received a tip-off about an illegal transaction between North Korea government officials and Royal Team Corporation.
Investigators were on the case for six months before they raided the offices of the trading company on August 3 and questioned its staff. Prosecutors found that a total 14 transactions, totaling NT$10 million, had taken place between the company and North Korea in the period August 2006 to July 2007, in violation of Article 27 of the Foreign Trade Act.
The shipments to North Korea included stainless steel tubes, vacuum pumps, an embedded industrial computer, workstation computers, and other sensitive items that had been listed as "strategic high-tech goods" and restricted for export to certain regions.
Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs, in observance of United Nations Resolution No 1695, had listed some 400 items as restricted in a bid to prevent the export of missiles and missile-related items, materials, goods and technology to North Korea.