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Criminals Conspire to Commit Crime on the Internet

Posted November. 18, 2002 22:51,   


The police nabbed up a gang of criminals yesterday. The gang, said the police, recruited "rookies" on the Internet, and have committed burglaries and robberies against luxury foreign-car owners or businesspersons.

On Nov. 18th, the Kangnam Police Station of Seoul arrested two suspects and additional two more including one minor on the wanted list. According to the police, the four-member gang, led by Han (43, Unemployed), has stole and robbed about \100 million (approximately $80,000) over 5 occasions for 20 days since Oct. 25th. One time, they even took their victims as hostages to rob them of their money.

▽ Crime = The police reported that, on Oct. 25th, the gang members entered a house of businessman, whose last name is Lee (62), located in Sooyoo Dong, Kangbook Gu, Seoul. First, they robbed them of jewelry worth \80 million, including diamond rings. Then, they took the Lees as hostage in their car, and robbed additional \10 million by taking cash advances out of their credit cards.

Again, on Nov. 15th, they tied up a man in 40s and a woman in 20s in the front of Yooldong Park of Boondang Gu, Sungnam City, Kyunggi Province. The two victims were dating at that time in a Volve. The criminals alleged took out \9 million out of the victims` credit cards, while taking them as hostages. Other than this, on Oct. 19th, the gangsters also tried in vain to kidnap a woman in 30s who just got out of her Mercedes Benz in the parking lot of an H Apartment complex in Banpoh Dong, Suscho Gu, Seoul.

▽ Recruitment of Accomplices = The gang members reportedly met with each other in the online chatting room that the ring leader Han opened early next month. Han named the room "Chatting Room of Ex-cons." According to the police, Han, who had run counter with the law over numerous times, uploaded a message on the electronic bulletin board of the chatting room to the extent that they could be well off by robbing the rich and the women who drive luxury foreign cars. Then, his accomplices like Lee (32), Choi and one unknown person joined the ring.

▽ Problem = In the afternoon, on last Saturday, Lee attempted to stab a person in a luxury bar in Suhcho Dong, Suscho Gu, Seoul. Then, police officers were dispatched and apprehended Lee. During investigation, the police got to know that the credit cards Lee had at that time belonged to other people. So, the police interrogated Lee, and succeeded in getting his confession. The next day, the police officers finally arrested the ringleader Han.

Park Yoon-ho, chief of the felony division of the Kangnam Police Station said, "More and more cases of conspiracy have been made on the Internet chatting sites. Even some chatting rooms are opened only for ex-cons. These rooms attract teens full of curiosity, or at least highly likely to attract them. It is urgent to come up with some measures to prevent the teens from falling themselves into crime."

In-Jik Cho cij1999@donga.com