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Construction Company Employee Escapes With 7.5 Billion Won in Cash

Construction Company Employee Escapes With 7.5 Billion Won in Cash

Posted August. 29, 2005 03:07,   


An employee of a well-known construction company stole 7.46 billion won in 10,000 notes, and flew away.

Embezzlement on this scale is unprecedented in Korea. The weight of the notes themselves was over 800 kilograms. The suspect used to be faithful to his duties, and had no domestic troubles, raising curiosity about the motivation.


The suspect Ahn (39, Ilsan-gu, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do), who worked as deputy financial manager at the Development Division of B Construction Co., withdrew cash totaling 7.46 billion won at around 1:30 p.m. on August 26. His company is in the process of rebuilding a 700-unit apartment complex in Wolpo-dong, Masan-si in Gyeongnam Province.

The money was an intermediate payment made by the apartments’ original residents and other purchasers. He withdrew 4.26 billion won from “A” bank, and 3.2 billion from “B” bank.

He transferred the money on August 22 from company accounts to his own at the same bank, and called the banks on the morning of August 27 and said, “Please bring the money to the office at the rebuilding apartment site in Gyobang-dong, all in 10,000 notes.”

The bank workers said, “He said the money would be paid to construction workers ahead of the Chuseok Holidays, so we didn’t suspect him.”


He stacked 25 cash bags carrying 300 million won each in a previously rented car and drove to his office in a model house in Jungang-dong to pick up his personal belongings.

Then he visited the house of his wife’s sister (49) in Chungbuk Province and unloaded seven bags (2.305 billion won), and then headed for his sister’s place in Seoul to drop another seven bags (carrying 2.1 billion won) off. He also left one bag at his own house in Ilsan.

He reportedly told his relatives, “I am sorry for not having done much for you. Take these.” His sister reported the money to the police.

His car was found in the Juksan Rest Area on the Gyeongbu Expressway at 2:15 a.m. Saturday. There was no money left in the car.

The stolen money bags are yellow plastic bags, mostly used for rice. A bag filled with cash weighs about 40 kilograms. The car’s second and third rows of seats were removed to make it easy to load the bags.


The police dispatched a team of detectives to places that Ahn might have headed to in order to inquire into his whereabouts and the rest of money (2.9 billion won). The police recovered 4.505 billion won that he distributed to his relatives.

Police are also investigating B Construction company and bank workers on the background of his alleged crime. The police also suspect he had accomplices, because he was carrying heavy and bulky objects, and left his car at a rest area on an expressway.

The police also followed up with travel ban to prevent him from escaping to foreign countries.

Ahn graduated from a prestigious private university in Seoul. He joined “B” Construction in 1990 and worked in its sales department until he moved up to the company’s financial managing team three years ago.

One of his colleagues said, “He was a sincere and calm person, and didn’t seem like he was being pressed for money.”

Jeong-Hoon Kang manman@donga.com