Kaohsiung, A Taiwanese businessman accused last year of selling oil to North Korea died Saturday when he fell from the top floor of a sixstory building in Kaohsiung, in what police believe was a suicide.
Chen Shihhsien was the owner of several fishing companies in Taiwan and had interests in the Billions Bunker Group Corp., which is registered in the British Virgin Islands; Billions Bunker Group Corp., registered in the Marshall Islands; Oceanic Enterprise Co. Ltd.; and UMC Corporation Peru S.A.C.
Police in Yancheng Precinct in Kaohsiung said they received a report at around 10 a.m. Saturday that a man, later identified as Chen, had fallen to his death from a sixstory building on Lai Nan Street where he resided.
At the time of his death, Chen was under investigation in Taiwan on suspicion of chartering a Hong Kongregistered tanker through the Billions Bunker Group for the transshipment of oil to a North Korean vessel in 2017, in contravention of international sanctions.
In November 2017, his ship was seized by South Korean customs officials, which prompted the investigation by Taiwan authorities.
He was summoned for questioning by Kaohsiung prosecutors in January 2018, then released on bail of NT$1.5 million (US$50,700) and barred from leaving the country
Taiwans Terrorism Financing Prevention Review Committee subsequently put him on a sanctions list and froze his assets, which barred him and his companies from making bank withdrawals, remittances, transfers or payments.
A week later, Chen attempted to commit suicide by taking sleeping pills at his home in Kaohsiung, but was rushed to hospital where he received treatment, police said.
Against that background, his death on Saturday is believed to be a suicide, according to investigators.
An investigation is underway to unravel the circumstances of Chens death, according to investigators, who said they had found what appeared to be a suicide note at Chens home.
However, they said, foul play had already been ruled out.
Regarding Chen assets, Kaohsiung prosecutors said it will be up to the Ministry of Justice to decide whether to unfreeze them.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel