A Taiwanese businessman in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, leapt to his death on Saturday after being convicted of violation international North Korea sanctions. File Photo by David Chang/EPA-EFE
June 24 (UPI) -- A Taiwanese man sentenced to prison for violating North Korea sanctions jumped to his death, according to Taiwanese press reports.
Apple Daily and United Daily News reported Monday Chen Shih-hsien, 54, had his assets frozen following allegations of smuggling oil to North Korea.
Chen, who was charged with falsifying documents in order to conduct ship-to-ship transfers of fuel with North Korean vessels, committed suicide at 10:47 a.m. Saturday at his residence, authorities said.
According to Apple Daily, Chen jumped from the sixth floor of his residential building in Kaohsiung while his family was away.
Paramedics said Chen was dead when they arrived on the scene. A suicide note was found on his body, but the contents of the letter had not been released.
Chen owned the Lighthouse Winmore, a ship impounded in South Korea in 2017. The United States had previously requested the United Nations Security Council blacklist 10 ships, including the Lighthouse Winmore, for sanctions violations,
Chen operated the ship, chartered by the Billions Bunker Group, which he incorporated in the British Virgin Islands and the Marshall Islands.
In 2017, Chen transferred fuel to a North Korean ship. On paper, he claimed the transaction was an export item to Hong Kong.
Taiwanese prosecutors in 2018 charged Chen with transferring a total of more than 28,000 tons of fuel oil to North Korea a total of four times.
Chen was required to pay a fine of more than $10,000 and was sentenced to 119 days in jail, suspended for two years.
Chen had said he would kill Deputy Minister of Justice Chen Ming-tang following the sentencing, as well as "all of Chen's family members," according to reports.
Chen Shih-hsien previously attempted suicide with sleeping pills.