Date
22 September 2017
Lau Shan says it took 16 lives to save hers and that of her elder sister. The two escaped from North Korea as young children. Photos: AFP, Ming Pao
Lau Shan says it took 16 lives to save hers and that of her elder sister. The two escaped from North Korea as young children. Photos: AFP, Ming Pao

Cancer-stricken North Korean forger handed suspended sentence

A North Korean defector, who was fined by a Hong Kong court HK$16,000 (US$2,063) and given a two-year suspended jail sentence for forgery and fraud, told of her harrowing experience with her sister while trying to escape from the totalitarian state as young girls.

Lau Shaun, 51, was six when she fled North Korea with her elder sister on travel permits arranged by their parents, both civil servants, Ming Pao Daily reported Wednesday.

The sisters left by train which was transporting food supplies between northeast China and North Korea.

Lau was adopted by a family in Hong Kong while her sister ended up with a foster home in the United States.

She later learned from an uncle who had defected to the US that her 16 remaining family members in North Korea were sent to a prison camp where they died.

“It cost 16 lives to save mine and my sister’s,” Lau said.

Lau was diagnosed some years ago with bone marrow cancer, making her too weak to walk without crutches.

In September last year, she was charged with faking three purchase orders from Samsung C&T Corp. purporting to buy one million tablet PCs and falsely claiming a HK$70,000 expense for a trip to Shanghai.

She said the money was used to pay her medical bills.

Lau has returned the amounts in question to her employer, the report said.

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