Austrian Man Nabbed in Yacht Purchases for North Korea's Kim, Kurier Says

A Vienna court convicted an Austrian businessman of having bought luxury cars, yachts, pianos and other embargoed goods for North Korean leaderKim Jong-Il, Austrian daily newspaper Kurier reported today.

The man, who was not identified by Kurier, bought items including eight Daimler AG Mercedes-Benz S-Class cars, two yachts and a Steinway grand piano, Kurier reported, citing state prosecutor Michael Schoen.

The man received a suspended sentence of nine months and was fined 3.3 million euros ($4.4 million). This was the amount of a down payment he had received for the yachts, according to the report.

The payment aroused suspicions at the man’s Vienna-based bank because it came directly from North Korea rather than via Chinese front companies which had been used in other deals, Kurier said. The verdict is final.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Boris Groendahl at bgroendahl@bloomberg.net

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