TWO companies have admitted to illegally shipping strategic commodities to North Korea. Swell Trading Company and Hing Link Shipping and their owners, Tsui Chit-fan and Kam Shuk-wing, pleaded guilty to 71 summonses brought by the Customs and Excise Department in South Kowloon Magistracy. Twelve other summonses were dropped. The offences took place between June 1992 and October last year. Magistrate David Dufton adjourned the case until Friday for sentencing. Prosecutor Phillip Ross told the court Swell illegally exported a quantity of integrated circuits, electronic components and 'ozone-depleting substances'. 'The defendants [Tsui and Kam] exported three consignments of 7,770 integrated circuits from Hong Kong to North Korea between July 17, 1992, and October 26, 1993,' Mr Ross said. It is not known what the goods, which were bought from a shop in Kowloon, were to be used for. According to a statement given to the court, most of the items illegally exported were sent to North Korea on two ships, which are believed to be owned by the Pyongyang Government. Mr Ross said Tsui and Kam illegally exported six consignments of 27,076 electronic components to North Korea between June 4, 1992, and February 9 last year. He said the company had also made a number of shipments in which ozone-depleting substances were 'inaccurately described' as other substances. 'On six occasions between August 1992 and October 1993 the defendants, in the name of Swell Trading Company, exported 10 consignments consisting of 296 drums of ozone-depleting substances from Hong Kong to North Korea,' he said. In mitigation, Anita Ma said her clients had been operating for 10 years and had not done anything wrong before. She said they were frequently in China on business and the contracts with North Korea were arranged by two of Swell's managers, one of whom has left the company. Ms Ma said Tsui and Kam normally dealt in clothing, food and cigarettes and they blamed illegal exports on the 'negligence' of their staff. 'There was no deception,' Ms Ma said. 'They did nothing to deceive the Government and they had nothing to do with the North Korean Government. 'There was nothing sinister about it, it was purely business.'