Taiwan court releases man accused of sanctions-busting declarations

A man alleged to have made false declarations relating to a Hong Kong-flagged tanker, which was suspected of transferring oil to North Korea in violation of international sanctions, has been released on bail by a Taiwanese court.

The man said that the vessel was bound for Hong Kong, despite, prosecutors claimed, knowing that it was bound for international waters to traffic oil products. Bail was set at TWD1.5m ($50,700).

South Korea seized Hong Kong-flagged Lighthouse Winmore in late November. A South Korean foreign ministry official said it transferred as much as 600 tonnes of oil to North Korea-flagged vessel Sam Jong 2 on October 19th in international waters between China and the Korean peninsula, and that this transfer was on the directions of Taiwan-based charterer Billions Bunker Group Corp.

Lighthouse Winmore is one of 10 vessels the US has asked the United Nations Security Council to blacklist for illicit trade with North Korea, according to Reuters.