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Tuesday, 21 March 2017

UN probing Malaysian firm with links to North Korea

Business as usual: The MKP building where the company’s headquarters is in Balakong.

Business as usual: The MKP building where the company’s headquarters is in Balakong.

KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian company involved with North Korean-linked projects is being investigated by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for having interest in the hermit nation’s banks.

In a UNSC report, Malaysia Korea Partners Holdings (MKP) was being probed for establishing the Inter­national Consortium Bank (ICB) in Pyongyang, via a joint venture.

Under UN sanctions, institutions were barred from establishing joint ventures and from taking ownership interest in North Korean banks.

MKP’s website stated that the company was involved in construction, shipbuilding, medical centres and trading and that the company was founded in 1964.

MKP Group of Companies was listed as an international well-diversified group involved in construction, shipbuilding, technology, trading, manufacturing, banking, medical technology, eco-tourism and agriculture.

When contacted, a company official declined to comment on UNSC’s allegation.

A check by The Star at the company’s headquarters in Balakong showed that it was operating as usual. A signage outside the three-storey corner lot building wall displayed the words “Pejabat Urusan MKP Capital LLC Berhad”.

A black SUV, a black MPV and a silver sedan were parked outside and another black SUV was parked inside the compound.

At around 4.10pm yesterday, a group of visitors were allowed into the building.

In Kulai, YEE XIANG YUN reported Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar as saying that the North Korean company that developed Glocom, a military communications system, never had business dealings in Malaysia.

Glocom, he said, was not a company but the name of the product developed by North Korea and marketed by International Global System Sdn Bhd.

He said the company was set up by North Korean and Malaysian shareholders in Kuala Lumpur in 2005. It was later changed to International Golden Services Sdn Bhd in mid-2012 with a branch in Singapore.

He said the company participated in the biennial Defence Services Asia exhibition and conference in Kuala Lumpur in 2012, 2014 and 2016, but there were no takers.

“Despite setting up since 2005 and approaching the police, army and such with their products, they have been unsuccessful,” Khalid said.

“They have never made any business dealing of firearms or military communications systems in Malaysia,” he said after a meeting.

Khalid said in 2011, the company was caught trying to ship Glocom products weighing 250kg from Pyongyang to a Thai address but was stopped by police in Port Klang.

Police found out that the Thai address did not exist and the cargo was ordered to be shipped back to Pyongyang.

Due to the company’s unsuccessful stint, a Malaysian board member asked for the company to be closed down but did not receive backing from the North Korean board members, he said.

“It was after the murder of Kim Jong-nam and the frenzy that followed that the Malaysian board member made a request with the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister and got the approval to wind up the company on March 15.”

Tags / Keywords: Courts Crime , mpk

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