Has Paddy Power’s latest stunt backfired? Luxury gifts sent to Kim Jong-un may have violated UN export rules
Paddy Power could find itself in hot water with the UN after it gave Kim Jong-un an elaborate gift as part of its controversial stunt to back a US basketball star's visit to North Korea.
The Irish bookmaker, famed for its cheeky campaigns, sponsored Dennis Rodman at the end of last year as a form of international diplomacy. It then went to the secretive state with Rodman ahead of a basketball match he had organised against former professional US players and a team of North Koreans he had trained.
However, while there Rory Scott, a press officer with the company, gave the secretive leader a bottle of Jameson whiskey, a decanter and two glasses as an early birthday present.
It has since been suggested by Dennis Halpin, a former US consul, that European crystal, a number of Italian suits and a Mulberry handbag were also given to the leader in a goody bad worth in excess of £6,000.
Paddy Power has confirmed that it sent the present of whiskey and glasses, rumoured to be worth several hundred pounds, but denied knowledge of some of the gifts that Haplin had listed.
The bookmaker said it was “satisfied” that UN export control sanctions, which prohibit the movement of “high quality...spirits and spirituous beverages...handbags and similar articles, ...[and] ... lead crystal glassware” to North Korea, had not been broken.
Following reports that Kim Jong-un had ordered the execution of his uncle, Paddy Power withdrew its support of Rodman and his project saying that “circumstances had changed”.