December 28, 2016 09:52
The independent counsel investigating massive corruption at Cheong Wa Dae on Tuesday asked Interpol to issue an all-points bulletin for the daughter of President Park Geun-hye's longtime friend Choi Soon-sil.
Chung Yoo-ra (20), allegedly a major beneficiary of an extortion racket her mother ran with the connivance of the presidential office, is thought to be hiding in Germany and has refused to answer repeated summons from Korea.
The independent counsel took out an arrest warrant for Chung on charges of obstruction of justice on Dec. 20.
Chung, a budding equestrian, was the beneficiary of millions of euros from Samsung to buy her a purebred horse and stables in Germany. She is also listed as a co-owner of several paper companies her mother established in Germany, allegedly to launder money extorted from big conglomerates here.
Her underhand preferential admission to Ewha Womans University and special privileges as an equestrian were revoked earlier this month as the scandal engulfed the head of the prestigious school, who resigned in disgrace.
Lee Kyu-chul of the independent counsel's team said, "Chung deserves to be on the Interpol's wanted list based on the charges specified in her arrest warrant."
Choi denies all charges and has been stonewalling under questioning, but she reportedly gets agitated the moment her daughter is mentioned. Investigators apparently hope she will become more cooperative if Chung is brought back.
Chung is reported to have retained a lawyer in Germany.
The independent counsel has also slapped a travel ban on Chung's father, Choi's former husband Chung Yoon-hoi.
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