A Singaporean businessman wanted by the FBI, carrying a hefty bounty of US$5 million (RM23,720,000.00) on his head, was reported to still be in Singapore.
62-year-old Kwek Kee Seng (pictured above), owner of shipping company Swanseas Port Services is wanted by both the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the US Department of State’s Rewards for allegedly “doing business with and providing sanctioned services to North Korea, enabling their nuclear proliferation programs.”
Kwek was also previously charged by the US Justice department for sending shipments of gasoline to North Korea, violating UN sanctions in the process.
Prosecutors mentioned that a 2,734-tonne tanker ship named The M/T Courageous, had been seized by the US government back in 2020. It was used to make the aforementioned deliveries to North Korea carrying more than US$1.5 million worth of oil at the time of its seizure.
Kwek is reportedly known to reside in a flat in Choa Chu Kang North, according to US court papers. The US State Department also noted that Kwek had participated in an “extensive conspiracy” to evade UN and US sanctions by delivering fuel to North Korea discretely.
The papers also revealed that “Kwek and his co-conspirators sought to obscure their identities and activities by conducting financial transactions through a series of shell companies.”
He directed payments in US dollars that were routed from said shell companies based in Panama, Singapore and elsewhere through US banks to pay for oil, the M/T Courageous itself, services and materials for the vessel in addition to salaries for crew members.
Kwek allegedly purchased the 2,700-ton oil tanker Courageous for roughly $580,000 back in July 2019 and used it to deliver 2.8 million kg of oil to North Korea. Later in 2020, the tanker was eventually captured in Cambodia.
According to the US Department of State, Kwek Kee Seng was charged by US authorities On April 23, 2021, with conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and conspiracy to commit international money laundering.
Currently, US officials are seeking any information regarding Kwek’s whereabouts. If captured and found guilty, he could face up to 20 years in prison for each charge.
See the official FBI report below: