Prosecutors in Taiwan are investigating a man suspected of involvement in illegal oil sales to North Korea.

In a statement late Wednesday (3 January), prosecutors said they questioned a man surnamed Chen before releasing him on bail of NT$1.5m (£37,650, $51,000) while they continue their investigation.

The prosecutor's office in southern Kaohsiung began its investigation after reports last week that South Korean authorities seized a Hong Kong-flagged ship for violating UN sanctions by selling oil to North Korea and that a Taiwan company was involved.

During questioning, they discovered the man, who owns a fishery company, knew the oil shipment would be sold in international waters but falsely declared its destination as Hong Kong.

South Korean officials believe the ship, the Lighthouse Winmore, transferred about 600 tonnes of refined petroleum products to a North Korean vessel, the Sam Jong 2 in the East China Sea in October.

South Korea impounded the ship after new United Nations Security Council sanctions on North Korea came into effect last month that let member states seize, inspect and freeze vessels suspected of transferring banned goods to the country.