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Kim Jong-Il’s Mercedes, Yacht Buyer Fined in Vienna, Kurier Says

A Vienna court convicted an Austrian businessman of having bought luxury cars, yachts, pianos and other embargoed goods for North Korean leader Kim 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.

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