August 14, 2013 10:38
Prosecutors have unearthed a substantial amount of assets squirreled away under a borrowed name by disgraced ex-president Chun Doo-hwan. The assets had been managed by a cousin of former first lady Lee Soon-ja who was arrested on Tuesday night.
Investigators with the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office raided the home and property development office of the cousin and found he purchased land near Seoul in the early 1990s using Chun's money. He was arrested on charges of hiding illegally obtained money.
The property in question was apparently sold recently for W6 billion (US$1=W1,115).
Prosecutors are also investigating another person who was involved in managing the lavish real estate of the Chun family.
The latest arrests have raised hopes of obtaining a more accurate picture of the size of Chun’s ill-gotten fortune. "It is not easy to recover assets hidden by Chun's children and other family members," a prosecution official said. "There is a strong chance that the illicit assets have been managed by little-known figures [like Lee's cousin]."
Prosecutors plan to summon Chun's two sons, Jae-kook and Jae-yong.
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 unelected office, but only paid W53.3 billion and continues to live a life of luxury.
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