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`Ex-Pres. Roh`s Brother Got Suspicious Money`

Posted December. 03, 2008 05:19,   


Prosecutors said yesterday that the elder brother of former President Roh Moo-hyun received suspicious money from Taekwang Industry CEO Park Yeon-cha, the former president’s long-time political sponsor, through a construction company set up by the elder Roh.

A probe is finding out how Roh Geon-pyeong got a private contract to set up the access road for Jeongsan Golf Course from Jeongsan Country Club, a subsidiary of Taekwang Industrial, in December 2003, and how the construction expense of 3.26 billion won (2.2 million U.S. dollars) was used.

Roh Geon-pyeong, the real owner of Jeongwon Construction, is registered as a director of the builder.

Prosecutors also found out that Jeongwon’s representative director paid and withdrew around 700 million won (477,490 dollars) and are trying to find out why and how he used the money.

Prosecutors requested an arrest warrant for the elder Roh on the suspicion of influence peddling, which goes against the Act on the Aggravated Punishment, etc. of Specific Economic Crimes, yesterday. The Seoul Central District Court will hold a hearing to decide whether to issue the warrant at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday.

Roh Geon-pyeong is suspected of getting money from two brothers who received three billion won (two million dollars) from Hong Gi-ok, the largest shareholder of Sejong Securities. The elder Roh is also suspected of receiving 300 million to 400 million won (204,640-272,850 dollars) out of the revenue generated from a gambling arcade in Gimhae, South Gyeongsang Province, which was established with the slush fund.

Prosecutor Choi Jae-gyeong said, “There are enough reasons to suspect that the elder Roh received bribes related to the sale of Sejong Securities. Given the significance of the case, we believe he could flee or destroy evidence.”

Prosecutors raided the headquarters of the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation and NH Investment and Securities on the suspicion that Taekwang acquired Huchems, a Nonghyup affiliate, at a bargain price.

Around 20 prosecutors and investigators searched toilets of the federation from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. searching for documents on the sale of Huchems and acquisition of Sejong Securities. They might have secured documents at the planning department of NH Investment and Securities.

On Sunday, prosecutors also summoned the branch manager of a securities company in Gimhae through which Park traded Sejong stocks between June and December 2005.