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Police Still Puzzled Over Missing Billionaire’s Whereabouts

Police Still Puzzled Over Missing Billionaire’s Whereabouts

Posted September. 08, 2005 07:28,   


A billionaire has been missing for 10 months, but there have been no clues as to his whereabouts.

The police have opened a criminal investigation into the case.

The missing billionaire is Bak Chan-ju (53), the head of Cheonji Company, a small-middle sized company. His brothers have promised a 100 million won reward for anyone who steps forward with information or crucial clues to where he is.

According to the Ilsan police station in Gyeonggi-do, Bak disappeared around 8:00p.m. on November 14 last year.

His younger brother reported to the police on November 16 that he could not contact Bak, and his visiting housekeeper said she had not seen him either. This happened a month after his wife and daughter went abroad to study, and he lived alone.

The police are having difficulties in the investigation because there is no missing money and there were no signs of a quarrel.

However, the police found that a private tutor, B, of Bak`s daughter had an affair with Bak’s wife and got 70 million won on the pretext of helping the daughter`s admission to an art high school. B was arrested on charges of fraud. He was sentenced to two years in prison and appealed the decision.

B went to Philippines with Bak`s wife, returned to Korea on November 14, and went abroad again on November 16. He once confessed to the kidnapping and murder of Bak, but later denied the charge, saying the confession was forced from him under torture of the police.

Bak`s brothers filed a lawsuit against B and Bak’s wife A on charges of murder and made an immediate appeal as they were ruled to be innocent. In response, Bak`s wife and B filed a lawsuit against the brothers on charges of detention and violence.

If Bak`s wife is responsible for the disappearance, she is not entitled to a share of the inheritance. Therefore, a fierce fight in court is expected.

Bak owns 30 billion won worth of cash and land in Goyang-si and Paju-si. Only after Bak is confirmed dead or the court declares he is dead after five years of being missing will the inheritance process start.

Dong-Young Lee argus@donga.com