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Mounting Suspicions over PM Designate`s Bank Loans

Posted August. 18, 2002 22:30,   


Suspicion is still lingering over whether Prime Minister designate Chang Dae-whan and his wife received favor when they got 3.89 billion won in loans from Woori Bank (the successor of Hanvit Bank), and what they did with that money.

Chang explained that he used the money to buy stocks to maintain the management right of Maegyeong TV. But it is confirmed that he received the loan after Mar 21, 2002, and there has been no changes in his stake in Maegyeong TV and Maegyeong Internet Ltd.

Chang and his wife borrowed the money with two buildings in Seoul possessed by his wife and an apartment unit in Apgujeong-dong, Seoul possessed by his mother-in-law as collaterals. Woori Bank is said to have overvalue the collaterals unlike the existing practice in the financial sector, raising speculation over preferential treatment for Chang.

The fact has been come to the fore as Donga Ilbo traced the property report by Chang. Therefore the upcoming confirmation hearing at the National Assembly will have to figure out the truth behind the speculation.

In addition, the Prime Minister designate is under suspicions that his property report handed over to the National Assembly for the confirmation hearing undervalued the price of a building compared to the standard price set up by the Ministry of Construction and Transportation and the National Tax Service.

An official of the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs said, "It is true that the price of his building on the reported is undervalued compared to the standard price. But it is difficult to give you a right answer because he has not sent necessary documents that support his case."

If a public official falsely reports his property, he is subject to warning, or less than 20 million won in fine.

Also he reportedly moved the address his children to Apgujeong-dong, where a former executive of Maeil Economic Daily newspaper lived in 1987 and 1988, just before his son and daughter went to elementary school. This appears to be an attempt to make his children go to Apgujeong Elementary school, which is known for one of prominent schools.

The address of his children was moved again right after they entered the school to Chang`s original address in Anam-dong, Seoul.