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`W3 Bln Used to Buy Land for Ex-Pres. Roh`s Brother`

Posted November. 27, 2008 03:09,   


Prosecutors said yesterday that Sejong Capital, formerly the largest shareholder of Sejong Securities (now NH Investment and Securities), used part of three billion won (two million U.S. dollars) used in a bribery scheme to buy real estate for the elder brother of former President Roh Moo-hyun.

Chung Hwa-sam was earlier arrested for receiving the three billion won from Hong Gi-ok, head of Sejong Capital, in exchange for facilitating the sale of Sejong Securities. Chung bought the first floor of a building in Gimhae, South Gyeongsang Province, under the name of his son-in-law for 920 million won (622,462 dollars) in May 2006.

The first floor covering 380 square meters is priced at between one billion (676,589 dollars) and 1.3 billion won (879,566 dollars).

Chung’s brother had run a gambling parlor under the name of his mother. Prosecutors seized and investigated the parlor when they probed the video slot machine scandal involving “Sea Story” in Aug. 2006. The brother eventually closed his gambling parlor and began renting stores.

Prosecutors are investigating whether the profit earned at the parlor or rental revenue earned at restaurants inside the building was given to Roh Geon-pyeong, the former president’s brother.

Prosecutors suspect the Chung brothers bought a building located in the vicinity of Roh Geon-pyeong’s home. They also considered the possibility that Hong put up collateral worth 500 million won (338,294 dollars) on the building and canceled it in March, to prevent Chung from selling the first floor of the building, in which the elder Roh held stakes.

In a telephone interview, however, the senior Roh said, “It makes no sense. I’ve never heard about the building.”

A prosecutor said, “We’ve already found out how the half of the three billion won received by Chung has been spent. He spent the money to buy a building and other purposes.”

Prosecutors have also found that Roh Geon-pyeong and Hong met in person before the sale of Sejong Securities, as Chung’s younger brother Gwang-yong introduced Hong to the senior Roh.

Considering that Hong personally met Roh Geon-pyeong, prosecutors are investigating the possibility that Hong gave him a commission after sale of the securities company.

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