Diamonds, whiskey confiscated from North Korea diplomat in Pakistan

By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |  Oct. 23, 2017 at 11:11 AM
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Oct. 23 (UPI) -- A North Korea diplomat earning foreign currency for the Kim Jong Un regime in Pakistan had his residence broken into by local authorities, and 450 boxes of liquor have been confiscated, South Korean diplomatic sources confirmed Monday.

Hyon Ki Yong, a first secretary at the North Korean mission in Islamabad, had returned from an overseas trip when he saw property in his house had been smashed and broken into, Yonhap reported Monday.

Hyon had "returned from a business trip to Beijing, China, on Oct. 3 to see the locks on his house had been destroyed, and the cash, diamonds, gold, laptop and officially imported wines and whiskeys had disappeared," a South Korean diplomatic official who spoke anonymously told Yonhap.

The raid took place on Oct. 2, according to footage from surveillance cameras on the site, according to Pakistan Today.

The video shows men in police uniforms going into Hyon's home and bringing out items from the residence.

Pakistan maintains quotas on the sale of alcohol in the country, leaving room for a black market in the liquor trade.

According to Yonhap, a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label whiskey could sell for as much as $70 a bottle on Pakistan's black market, or twice its retail price of $35.

South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported Monday the police who were involved in the controversial break-in had not been arrested.

Pakistan Today had reported earlier the three officers had not received approval to "steal" the goods including the alcohol, computers, two diamonds and $3,000.

The Chosun reported the goods were likely smuggled, but Hyon defended the possession of the property in a complaint he filed with a local police station.

"On Oct. 3, I came back and was shocked to see that my house was missing some important things like diamonds, gold, officially imported wine, whiskey, laptop, computer, dollars and much more. After that, I saw CCTV footage and was again surprised [to see] that some people in police uniform had raided my house...on Oct. 2 and stolen the said items," Hyon wrote.

The United Nations Security Council adopted tough sanctions against North Korea in August and September, following multiple missile launches and an underground test of a nuclear bomb.

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