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Published on Wednesday, 05 December 2012 21:55
The Wan Hai 313, a cargo vessel from which aluminum alloy was seized in Tokyo in August, is seen in Kobe on Nov. 23. (Photo - Asahi Shimbun)
A local company that reportedly attempted to import missile-grade materials from North Korea has been operating illegally, the Myanmar Commerce Ministry said.
The Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported that a shipment in August was supposed to be delivered to Soe Ming Htike, a Yangon-based construction company, which the US government believes is a front for Myanmar's military procurement.
Director Zaw Htay of the President's Office, however, denied the allegation, saying the government had nothing to do with the cargo, the Yangon Times Journal said.
Soe Ming Htaik Company has allegedly been importing China-made military trucks and military equipment over the past 20 years, sources close to that company said.
“After checking company records of previous financial years, we found out that the export/import licences of Soe Min Htaik Co had been invalid since 2008. It was also found that the company did not apply for licence renewal,” an official from the Commerce Ministry said.
In a report by the Asahi Shimbun, Japanese authorities seized materials suitable for uranium enrichment aboard a cargo vessel docked at Tokyo Port on August 22, 2012. The shipment included about 50 metal pipes and 15 high-specification aluminum alloy bars, at least some of them offering the high strength needed for a nuclear weapons programme.
International sources also said the cargo was loaded onto the 17,138-ton Wan Hai 215, a Singapore-registered cargo vessel operated by a Taiwanese shipping company in Dalian, China on July 27.
On August 9, the cargo was offloaded and placed aboard the 27,800-ton Wan Hai 313 in Shekou, China. And by August 14, the cargo was scheduled to change ships once again in Malaysia and reach Yangon Port the following day.