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Police send papers on teen for allegedly importing N. Korean beer

The Yomiuri Shimbun

A bottle of Taedonggang beer

The Yomiuri ShimbunFUKUOKA — Papers were filed with a prosecutors office against a 19-year-old man Thursday for allegedly illegally importing a North Korean beer to Japan, according to police.

The Fukuoka and Toyama prefectural police headquarters sent papers on the unemployed man to the Fukuoka District Public Prosecutors Office on suspicion of violating the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Law.

The police said the man from Fukuoka confessed to the crime, saying, “I thought [North Korean beer] could be sold at a high price.”

The man allegedly concealed a bottle of Taedonggang beer produced in North Korea in a carry-on bag before boarding a flight for Saga Airport from Shanghai Airport in early October last year, without obtaining the necessary approval from the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry.

He bought the beer in Shanghai for about ¥300 and then resold it through an online auction for about ¥16,000.

The act was identified by the Toyama prefectural police on cyber patrol. The police said they confirmed that he has repeatedly auctioned North Korean beer and other grocery items through the internet since last year.

Since 2009, Japan has banned all imports and exports of goods made in or shipped from North Korea as part of economic sanctions against Pyongyang for repeatedly conducting nuclear and missile tests.

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