YOKOHAMA (Kyodo) A trading company linked to attempts to export high-tech equipment with arms applications to Myanmar is suspected of shipping several other devices with potential for making weapons of mass destruction to the country as well, police said Wednesday.
Tokyo-based Toko Boeki has been exporting to Myanmar instruments that can be converted for use in producing missiles without permission since 2006, investigators alleged. Such exports must be approved by the minister of economy, trade and industry.
The 41-year-old Korean president of the firm, known as Keiko Ri in Japanese, was arrested Monday on suspicion of attempting to ship a magnetic measuring instrument from Yokohama port to Myanmar via Malaysia on Jan. 23. The device can potentially be used to produce weapons of mass destruction.
The head of the trading house has been handed over to prosecutors over the alleged transactions, which violate the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Law.
Investigators have confiscated documents related to Toko Boeki’s transactions and suspect the company shipped the instruments at the request of New East International Trading Ltd., a Chinese trading house with an office in Pyongyang.
METI has placed the Pyongyang entity on its list of foreign companies suspected of involvement in developing biological, chemical or nuclear weapons and missiles.
Myanmar is considered a major importer of North Korean weapons technology.
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