A Singaporean shipowner, Kwek Kee Seng, wanted by the US on suspicion of violating sanctions on North Korea, is in the city-state where he is currently under investigation, Singapore police said.
The Singapore Police Force (SPF) said they have sought clarification from their US counterparts over the reward offered for Kwek’s whereabouts as they have kept the US informed on Kwek’s case.
Namely, the US State Department last week offered $5m for information on Kwek, accusing him of numerous fuel deliveries to North Korea and ship-to-ship transfers using one of his tankers as well as money laundering through front companies.
A federal arrest warrant was issued for Kwek last April, a year after his product tanker Courageous was seized by Cambodia at the request of the US over alleged sanctions violations.
The State Department’s Rewards for Justice program had said his exact location was not known and that he also had been identified as being in North Korea, Cambodia, Taiwan and Thailand as well as Cameroon and the Caribbean nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. However, Singapore’s police claimed that “Kwek is presently in Singapore.”
Kwek, 62, is the director of the Singapore-based shipping agency and terminal operations company Swanseas Port Services. He has been under investigation since April by the Commercial Affairs Department, the city’s white-collar crime investigation agency, and his passport has been impounded, SPF added.