Go to Contents Go to Navigation

Private group chief convicted in N. Korea remittance case

National 16:31 May 23, 2023

SUWON, South Korea, May 23 (Yonhap) -- The chief of a Seoul-based private organization was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison on Tuesday on charges of colluding with a business tycoon embroiled in a scandal involving unauthorized foreign currency remittances to North Korea.

The Suwon District Court found An Bu-soo, the chairman of the Asia Pacific Exchange Association, guilty of multiple charges, including violating the foreign exchange transactions law.

This verdict marks the first ruling in the scandal involving Kim Seong-tae, former chairman of underwear maker Ssangbangwool Group. He is suspected of transferring US$8 million to North Korea via China, allegedly on behalf of Gyeonggi Province.

An was found guilty of smuggling a total of about 500 million won (US$380,000) into China on two separate occasions in 2018 and early 2019, with the money eventually making its way to North Korea.

Under the law, overseas foreign currency remittances in excess of US$10,000 must be reported to customs.

He was also found guilty of embezzling around 1.2 billion won and spending it for his personal purpose.

Kim is currently on trial for making the payment on behalf of Gyeonggi Province during the time when Lee Jae-myung, the chairman of the main opposition Democratic Party, was the governor.

Prosecutors suspect that Kim transferred $8 million to North Korea, with $5 million intended for the provincial government's smart farm support program in North Korea and the remaining amount allocated for Lee's planned visit to Pyongyang at that time.

Lee Hwa-young, a former vice governor of Gyeonggi Province and a trusted ally of the opposition party leader, is also on trial on charges of bribery and alleged involvement in the illegal transfer.

This file photo shows An Bu-soo, the chairman of the Asia Pacific Exchange Association. (Yonhap)

This file photo shows An Bu-soo, the chairman of the Asia Pacific Exchange Association. (Yonhap)


Send Feedback
How can we improve?
Thanks for your feedback!