July 18, 2013 10:10
Prosecutors have slapped travel bans on some 10 family members of disgraced ex-president Chun Doo-hwan, but Chun himself and his wife remain free to travel. Another 10 of their close friends have also been prohibited from leaving the country.
Chun's youngest son Jae-man, who lives in the U.S., will face a travel ban once he returns to Korea. Prosecutors will summon all of them for questioning as soon as they finish analyzing the items confiscated in Tuesday's raid on their homes and offices as part of efforts to collect massive unpaid fines for corruption in office.
Prosecutors on Wednesday raided another 12 homes owned by Chun, his family and close associates, as well as a company run by his eldest son Jae-kook.
Among them was the home of the mother-in-law of Chun's second son Jae-yong, demonstrating how far the net is being cast to recover the ex-strongman's ill-gotten gains.
Last week, the National Assembly passed a bill allowing the forfeiture of assets illegally gained by Chun's family members or acquaintances. It also extended the statute of limitations on corruption in office to ensure he does not slip through the net.
Chun, who came to power in a 1979 military coup, was fined W220 billion in 1997 for amassing illegal slush funds during his decade in office, but only paid W53.3 billion (US$1=W1,121) and continues to live a life of luxury.
"We came to the conclusion after our initial raid on Tuesday that more locations need to be searched," a prosecutor said. Prosecutors are expanding the team of investigators tracking down Chun's assets.
They have started analyzing accounting and financial records and computers that were confiscated during the raids.
Prosecutors have confiscated around 200 valuable artworks including 30 pieces of rare porcelain and works of famous Korean painters during the two-day raid and will determine if they are part of Chun's slush funds.
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