Monday, September 25, 2006
Customs officers, prefectural police and the Japan Coast Guard searched a North Korean cargo ship at Sakai Port in Sakaiminato, Tottori Prefecture, on suspicion of violating the Customs Law by bringing two counterfeit bills into the country. According to the authorities, the ship, Kum Gang 1, and its 17-man crew entered the port Tuesday. A representative of an export company in Maizuru, Kyoto Prefecture, received 300 100 dollars bills from the ship's captain, two of which allegedly were counterfeit. Smuggling counterfeit money into the country is illegal.
Japanese customs authorities board the North Korean cargo ship Kum Gang 1The captain explained to the authorities that a North Korean company left the bills with him when leaving North Korea as payment for the commercial transaction between the North Korean company and the export company in Maizuru. An official of the Kobe Custom's Sakai branch at the port stopped the export company representative, who tried to leave the port without making a declaration required by the Customs Law after receiving the money. The official checked the bills in the bag he had and found the two counterfeits among the 300 bills. The search started at about 1 pm and lasted for an hour. Twenty-six officials of the three authorities boarded the 298-ton ship to examine its bow, bridge, cabins and other parts of the ship requesting information from the crew. The cargo ship, which carried marine products, is scheduled to leave the port Monday.