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Politicians and Officials Involved in TPI Bribes Banned Departing the Country

Politicians and Officials Involved in TPI Bribes Banned Departing the Country

Posted May. 21, 2002 09:14,   


Some politicians and bureaucrats are investigated on, in relation to the alleged lobby of Tiger Pools International (TPI) to the political and official circles, whether they possess stocks of TPI or affiliate companies in their own names or by borrowing other names, according to the second special investigative office (chief prosecutor Cha Dong-Min) of the Seoul District Public Prosecutor`s Office on May 20.

The prosecution has analyzed in detail the data of the stock ownership status, has selected a list of stockowners that is related to politicians and bureaucrats among the stockowners of the borrowed names, and has already banned some suspicious persons from departing the country, according to a source.

In relation to this, former employee of TPI who refused to expose his name said, `The stocks owned by D company and V Company, which owned shares of TPI in the early stage of the business, have been distributed to the political circle.` The statement will make the prosecution investigation on the case inevitable.

Most of the stock distribution beneficiaries have used borrowed names and are former or incumbent representatives, their secretaries, and related officials of various government agencies.

The prosecution is also investigating whether bundles of money withdrawn from related persons including CEO of TPI Song Jae-Bin and others during the revision of the related laws of lottery operator selection and the actual operator selection were transferred to politicians and bureaucrats or their associates.

Mr. Song stated in the prosecution, `I have held a project seminar for both ruling and opposition members of the National Assembly and have requested some help when I met members of the Culture and Tourism Standing Committee, but I have not contributed illegal political funds or transferred any stocks in return for a favor.`

In other hand, the prosecution said it has put a special team headed by deputy chief prosecutor Cho Ju-Tae of the third special investigative office of the Seoul District Public Prosecutor`s Office to arrest former deputy Seoul mayor for political affairs Kim Hee-Wan who is hiding.

Former deputy mayor Kim is allegedly involved in lobbying to some politicians of both the ruling and opposition camps and officials of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism after receiving twenty thousand shares of TPI stock in return for a help in the lottery operator selection from Mr. Song.

Myoung-Gun Lee Sang-Rok Lee gun43@donga.com myzodan@donga.com