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Mobs Involved in Hanwha Chief’s Assault

Posted May. 08, 2007 07:46,   


The police, which have been investigating into Hanwha Chairman Kim Seung-yeon’s alleged revenge attack, confirmed Monday that gang members were mobilized to the sites of violence on the day of the assault.

Police said they confirmed that Oh, 54, a middle boss of the Beomseobang faction, made phone calls on the day of the attack, March 8, to Lee, 56, a friend of Jo who is the owner of a club in Bukchang-dong, Seoul.

In addition, based on the analysis of cell phone calls made on the three sites of the assault – Cheonggye Mount, Cheongdam-dong and Bukchang-dong in Seoul -, police found that Oh made phone calls on two sites of the beating on that day.

However, the police said, according to the Immigration Office computer network, Oh left Korea on April 27, when Kim’s alleged assault began to draw media attention. Oh reportedly went to Australia.

Assuming that Oh went to the sites with his gang members, police are tracing the identities and whereabouts of his henchmen.

Although police took Lee into custody on Monday for questioning over the details of telephone conversations, he denied, saying, “I never made phone calls to Oh.”

Lee, who also runs a bar near Jo’s club in Bukchang-dong, went to Jo’s club when the assault took place.

Oh is a high-profile gangster who has been implicated in major organized crime cases in the 1980s, including the assault on the owner of Incheon Songdo Hotel.

Oh, who was the No. 2 man under Seobang faction whose boss was Kim Tae-chon, organized the Mokpomambo faction with a dozen gang members when the ring was dissolved after the incident of breaking into the New People’s Party building in 1977.

However, the Mokpomambo faction was disbanded after its four gang members were murdered by the Jinseok faction in August 1986 at a hostess bar in Seoul. Police believe Oh later joined the Beomseobang faction.

Oh is currently running a grocery store in Banpo-dong, Seoul.

As circumstantial evidence suggests the involvement of organized criminal groups on Kim’s case, the prosecution ordered the police to carry out additional investigation.

As soon as the police finish its complementary investigation, it will seek a warrant for Kim as it believes he orchestrated the case.

Meanwhile, Hong Yeong-ki, head of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, said Monday, “The victims seem frightened of (another revenge). We are providing protection for all the six victims.”

“All of the three key suspects of the case have been forbidden from leaving the country. Since we are tracking their whereabouts, we believe we will soon be able to find them,” Hong added.