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Submitting Only Ashes after Burning Account Book

Posted August. 11, 2004 21:58,   


A food company owner, who is suspected of making red pepper powder containing pigments, in response to the prosecution requesting him to submit the account book, submitted ashes instead. He sprayed “red pepper powder” on the investigation, saying it is “what remained after burning the account book.”

According to the Second Investigation Department of the Seoul Central Prosecutor’s Office (director Nam Gi-choon) on Wednesday, an arrest warrant was issued to Shin, the representative of a food manufacturing company identified as “J,” late last month on a charge of manufacturing and selling 110 tons of bad red pepper powder containing tar, a red pigment. The warrant, however, was rejected, quoting, “There are no worries for the suspect to escape or to destroy evidence.”

The prosecution seized to search the company prior to the request of the warrant, but didn’t find the account book. The prosecution requested Shin, who was released, to submit the account book.

However, Shin brought ashes in a plastic bag which the origins could not be determined, saying, “I brought these even though they are just ashes because my wife was found burning the account book when I returned home after the arrest warrant was rejected.”

Failing to secure the account book, critical evidence that contains information about the purchase of tar, the red pigment mixed in the red pepper powder, and the circulation channels, the prosecution had to rely on investigations on witnesses. The prosecution requested an arrest warrant again last Monday, but it was rejected again on Tuesday.

An official at the prosecution was struck dumb, saying, “If Shin really burned the account book, the ‘worry of escaping and destroying evidence’ is really gone only now.”

Jin-Young Hwang buddy@donga.com