A 59-year-old Sydney man has been arrested for attempting to help the North Korean government raise money by brokering sales of missile components from the hermit nation.
The AFP are saying Australia has never seen anything like it.
Chan Hoi Choi has lived in Australia for 30 years, and was tipped off to the AFP by international law enforcement. They’re alleging that Chan acted as an economic agent for North Korea in an attempt to raise revenue.
Speaking to reporters today, Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan said that Choi had been acting “to serve some higher patriotic purpose“, and said that if his trade deals had been successful, he would have raised a shitload of money for the regime.
There are some financial records that indicate well over half a million dollars transferred that we’re aware of. We estimate that if these trades were successful, we’d talking tens of millions of dollars.
Fortunately no trades were successful, but the AFP have charged Choi with six offences: two under the Weapons of Mass Destruction (Prevention of Proliferation) Act 1995, and four under legislation that enforces sanctions against North Korea.
Gaughan said that while the charges sounded alarming, there was no danger domestically.
We are alleging that all the activity occurred offshore, and was purely another attempt for this man to trade goods and services as a way to raise revenue for the government of North Korea,” he said. “This was his goal. His actions were all around trying to raise revenue for the government of North Korea.
Choi is the first person charged under the Commonwealth weapons of mass destruction act. Gaugher confirmed, “Clearly this is nothing like we have ever seen in Australian law enforcement.“
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Image: Australian Federal Police