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Another Lobbying Scandal Uncovered

Posted December. 08, 2006 08:36,   


The Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office Criminal Department One (headed by Choi Jae-jeong) announced on December 7 that prosecutors investigating a Tanhyeon apartment lobby scandal are seeking to arrest K firm’s representative Jeong, 57, on suspicions of embezzlement and forgery of documents. The investigation team asked authorities to prohibit those related to the scandal, including Jeong, from departing the country, and is going to request a warrant of arrest for three or four more suspects.

Jeong is suspected of lobbying executives and government officials for loans and changes to related regulations. Prosecutors recently secured statements by those related who provided details of his lobbying activities and part of a journal detailing the lobbying.

Prosecutors also arrested and are investigating the firm’s advisor Kim, 57, who is known to have kept a journal and recorded talks with the lobbied parties.

Kim is denying his involvement, but prosecutors are reportedly planning to request a warrant to arrest him.

Last August, former Representative A submitted a bill accusing those suspects, including Jeong, of embezzling hundreds of billions of the firm’s funds and using a considerable sum to lobby government officials for the construction of an apartment complex.

The Goyang branch of the Euijeongbu District Prosecutors’ Office is reported to be investigating related officials in Goyang City Hall and the city council for their involvement in the case.

Prosecutors are now trying to see if it was the lobbying that made the city council change a regulation on the proportion of residences to businesses in an apartment complex in May from 7:3 to 9:1.

On the other hand, it was confirmed that about ten public employees in Goyang City Hall own part of the land for the Tanhyeon apartment complex in their own names or the names of family members.

These civil servants sold the land to K for a big sum of money in the second half of this year. Some of them purchased the land before 1999, the year the region was incorporated to the city, and made a big margin by selling it recently.

A source in Goyang City Hall said, “Some employees are revealed to have owned part of the land in the names of themselves or their family members, but we cannot punish or request investigation into them for the fact that they owned and sold the land.”

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