Malaysian court approves N Korean’s extradition to US

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) – A North Korean man is likely to face money-laundering charges in the United States (US) after a Malaysian court approved his extradition yesterday, in a case his lawyers claim is politically motivated.

Mun Chol Myong has denied FBI claims that he led a criminal group that violated sanctions by supplying luxury goods to his isolated homeland and laundered funds through front companies.

The 54-year-old, who has lived in Malaysia with his family for a decade, was arrested in May following an extradition request from Washington.

His defence team claims he was involved only in the supply of palm oil and soybean oil to the North.

“I am sad and disappointed with the court action,” said his lawyer Jagjit Singh, who previously criticised the extradition bid as “solely based on politics”. Jagjit said his client would not be deported before a final appeal, likely to be heard early next year.

Mun has been in custody since his arrest. He is accused of four charges of money-laundering and two of conspiracy to launder money, mainly in relation to his work for a firm in neighbouring Singapore.

His case has shone a spotlight on trade ties between Pyongyang and Singapore, with several companies in the city charged in recent times over shipping banned goods to the North.

North Korean embassy counsellor Kim Yu Song (L) walks with Jagjit Singh (R), lawyer to Mun Chol Myong, the North Korean man facing extradition from Malaysia to the US on money-laundering at the Session Court in Kuala Lumpur. PHOTO: AFP