Two North Korean men are being detained in
Qatar under suspicions of the distribution of illegal liquor; Voice of America
[VOA] reported on September 4th, citing the Gulf Times, Qatar’s English
The men were alleged to have been selling
the liquor to North Korean laborers there, as well as to citizens in
surrounding nations, and if found guilty of the crime, will be deported back to
North Korea. The Gulf Times was unable to confirm when or where the men were
Barring alcohol sales at officially
designated retailers to foreigners with the proper licensing, Qatar, where the state religion is Islam, forbids the sale of liquor.
The accused men were known to be dispatched
from North Korea to work as chauffeurs hired by various companies throughout
the Gulf Corporation Council [GCC], which is comprised of six nations: Bahrain,
Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates [UAE].
This closely follows the September 2nd arrest
of another North Korean male in Qatar on similar charges, and the July arrest
of another North Korean for manufacturing and distributing illegal alcohol and drugs.
VOA reported that these operations continue to spread, expanding over into India
and Bangladesh. A probe by the Kuwaiti police in November 2008, saw 10 North
Korean workers arrested for their role in an alcohol distribution ring.
Meanwhile, a 2013 report released by South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, estimated that 46,000 North Korean laborers have been dispatched to 40 nations around the world. The number of these workers in GCC nations totals 2,000, 4,000, and 1,000 in Qatar, Kuwait, and the UAE respectively.