Posted December. 13, 2008 08:25,
Police yesterday arrested a bar owner on the charge of bilking drunk men after touts brought them to his bar, selling fake whiskey at exorbitant prices, and leaving an intoxicated customer at a motel who later died.
Seodaemun Police Station in Seoul detained Choi, the 34-year-old owner of an upscale bar in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, and his employee for allegedly getting a customer to drink fake whiskey, extorting money, and leaving him to die in a motel.
Police also booked without detention another gangster for allegedly pocketing money from the bar owner in return for protecting his business.
Choi sold Jeon, a 25-year-old man, and his friends phony whiskey on Aug. 23 last year and billed them 1.8 million won (1,978 U.S. dollars).
Choi hired a prostitute to have sex with Jeon at a motel to prevent him from reporting his illegal practice. Jeon, however, consumed an excessive amount of alcohol and eventually died.
Choi is also suspected of selling bogus whiskey to a 34-year-old man in December last year, charging him 1.4 million won (1,500 dollars) and leaving him at a motel, where the man died.
They made profits by putting alcohol and cheap domestic whiskey in foreign whiskey bottles and selling them for hundreds of thousands of won, police said.
They kept getting drunk customers to drink more until they passed out and left them in a motel without providing care, which resulted in some customers dying due to vomiting and other causes.
Choi is known to have sold fake whiskey in Gangnam, a posh district of southern Seoul, until 2004 but later moved to Suwon to avoid a police crackdown.
Police say Choi might have had more victims.