TAIPEI (CNA) — A former judge and his son accused of renting a cargo ship to smuggle anthracite coal from North Korea to Vietnam received suspended sentences for forgery Thursday in Taiwan Taipei District Court.
The court sentenced former judge Chiang Kuo-hua (江國華) to one year in prison, suspended for five years, and a fine of NT$1 million (US$33,076) to be paid within four years.
His son, Chiang Heng (江衡), received separate sentences of six and seven months, also suspended for five years, and a fine of NT$500,000, while a co-conspirator, surnamed Lu (呂), was sentenced to six months, with the choice of paying a fine, suspended for four years.
According to investigators, in 2017 Chiang and his son employed a middleman to rent a cargo ship, which they loaded with anthracite coal at an unnamed North Korean port.
The pair then turned off the vessel’s tracking device and traveled to Vietnam, where they used a falsified certificate of origin and sailing records to resell the cargo, in contravention of United Nations Security Council sanctions against North Korea.
After opening an investigation in January 2018, prosecutors ordered Chiang Heng held in incommunicado detention, while Chiang Kuo-hua was freed on NT$1 million bail and banned from leaving the country.
Prosecutors announced formal charges against the three suspects last October.