Go to contents

College Friend Kidnaps Rich Friend for Money

Posted May. 22, 2008 18:52,   


A man, who lives alone and has tens of billions of won, was released after being abducted for more than 80 days by a group of men, including his college friend.

The kidnappers not only withdrew 3 billion won from his bank accounts but also borrowed 7.8 billion won by putting up his assets as collateral.

▽ From Kidnapping to Release

The 53-year-old rich man only identified as A was abducted on March 1.

He had dinner that day with his college friend Lee, 53, and a group of Lee’s friends, including 50-year-old Kim, at a restaurant in Apgujeong-dong, a posh district in southern Seoul.

After having dinner, Lee suggested they all have a drink at a bar in Itaewon, central Seoul. A got in Kim’s car.

When they were about to arrive in Itaewon, Lee asked Kim to stop the car, saying he wanted to get a soft drink. Suddenly, two men who were waiting at the scene jumped into the car and kidnapped A with the help of the people in the car, including Lee.

The kidnappers stayed with A for over two months in hotels in Gangnam in Seoul and Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province.

In order to conceal the fact that A was kidnapped, kidnappers threatened A to call his sister once or twice a week and to lie her that he was busy with his business investments.

They borrowed 7.8 billion won by putting up A’s assets as collateral on April 24 and transfered three billion won from A’s accounts to theirs the next day.

Their crime came to light when A’s sister, who found it strange that A, who usually calls her in the afternoon, phoned her in the morning for two consecutive months. She reported this to the police.

Sensing the police’s investigation into A’s abduction, they released him on Tuesday near his home in southern Seoul after forcing him to take an illegal drug. “If you report to the police, you will be arrested as a drug offender,” the kidnappers told A.

▽ Who is A?

A inherited a large sum of money from his parents who ran a transportation company. He increased his fortune to tens of billions of won through real estate investments.

Lee lived alone without a maid after his divorce. As he had no children, he hardly met people, except his sister and the janitor of his building.

Kidnapper Lee is his college friend who even stayed in A’s house for about five months in 1999.

“The two lived together after Lee’s business went bankrupt during the Asian financial crisis,” said a police official. “Since then, the two frequently have met to have a meal or drink together.”

▽ Police Investigation

Police investigation found that Lee carefully planned the kidnapping and introduced Kim to A in February.

When A was trying to sell his land worth 20 billion won in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province in February, Lee introduced Kim to A, saying, “He is a rich friend of mine.”

However, Lee, who turned himself in to the police on Tuesday claims, “I merely participated in luring A. I was not involved in holding him captive.”

“Considering that he introduced Kim with 10 previous convictions, including fraud, we believe there is a high possibility that Lee played a leading role in the crime,” a police official said.

Police requested an arrest warrant for Lee on Wednesday on charges of kidnapping and banned six accomplices from leaving the country, though they had already fled to the Philippines on May 15.

The police are also investigating the possibility of another accomplice in the process of obtaining the illegal loans.

“We will investigate the involved bank in order to find out whether another crime was committed, such as a collusion among bank employees in the process of lending a loan to Kim, who pretended to be A,” a police official said.