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Attempted leak of leading solar cell production process caught

Attempted leak of leading solar cell production process caught

Posted June. 23, 2012 11:10,   


Executives and employees of a start-up company were arrested Thursday on the charges of attempting to leak to China renewable energy-related technologies worth 270 billion won (234.4 million U.S. dollars).

Prosecutors estimated that the technologies are expected to generate 6 trillion won (5.2 billion dollars) in sales revenue.

The Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, branch of the Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office said among those indicted were the former vice president of a company and four members of its supplier for attempting to leak technology for manufacturing solar cell production equipment to China. Charged without detention was a company employee on the same charge.

The company is registered on the over-the-counter KOSDAQ stock market in Korea.

The former vice president is known to have colluded with two staff members in September last year to steal technology the company developed by spending about 270 billion won (234.4 million dollars), including 81.3 billion won (70.6 million dollars) in government investment.

The technology is said to drastically reduce the process of solar battery production and enhance manufacturing efficiency. In 2009, the Knowledge Economy Ministry selected it as one of the country’s 10 leading new technologies.

The suspects are also accused of trying to leak new technologies related to organic light-emitting display, or OLED, that the company developed.

Prosecutors said the former vice president used his executive right to unlock encrypted operating secrets to directly copy information on the technology to a hard disk. He then allegedly removed the hard disk when security checks on executives were loose.

In particular, he conspired with one of his company`s suppliers to directly manufacture the equipment by using the stolen technology. He later approached a Chinese energy corporation and pledged to sell the equipment to it and hand over the technology by 2016.

An investigation was launched into the technology leak after investigators obtained the data in March. Police arrested the suspects early this month, and at the time, the former vice president was attempting to leave for China.