North Korean diplomats apprehended over illegal sale of alcohol in Karachi

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A North Korean couple in Karachi, who have been identified as diplomatic envoys to Pakistan, have been apprehended over the illegal sale of alcohol on April 1.

According to the Voice of America, the couple took advantage of their immunity status as foreign diplomats and were selling whiskey and beer in Karachi’s Defence Housing Authority (DHA).

They are not the first North Koreans to be taken into custody by authorities.

In January 2013, North Korean diplomats were caught selling alcohol to local restaurants and international school employees. At times, they also used North Korean embassy vehicles to deliver alcohol to their customers.

Reports suggest that North Korean diplomats purchase whiskey from duty-free stores and come and sell it at a brisk profit in Pakistan. A source said that the illegal sales were funding North Korean embassy operations in Karachi.

South Korean newspaper Donga Ilbo reported the diplomats were engaging in the activity to also send much needed foreign currency back to Pyongyang.

Authorities have released the North Koreans on the basis of their immunity as diplomats.

Last month, a North Korean diplomat was caught while attempting to smuggle $1.7 million worth of gold into Bangladesh.