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President’s hidden fortune

Posted March. 06, 2015 07:31,   


“A large slush fund of 100 trillion Korean won (approx. 90.7 billion U.S. dollars) that was collected during the former Park Chung-hee administration has deposited in Union Bank of Switzerland, out of which 10 trillion won (approx. 9.07 billion dollars) is in HSBC in Hong Kong.” A judicial scrivener, surnamed Lee who was arrested on charges of fraud, deceived a businessman by saying that lobby fund is needed to bring the Park Chung-hee administration’s slush fund into Korea and pocketed over 900 million won (approx. 0.8 million dollars) from the businessman. The victim was fooled by the photo that showed the balance in the bankbook.

“Kim Jong-pil with 21.65 billion won, Lee Hu-rak with 19.44 billion won…”

On June 18, 1980, the martial law command of then-Major General Chun Doo-hwan announced the result of investigation on illicit fund accumulation by wielding the influence. During the investigation by the new military, Lee Hu-rak said, “It is natural to have crumbs for someone who takes care of cake.” When the size of his monetary crumb was revealed, people questioned how big “the cake” could be. Up to date, however, none of the suspicion that former President Park Chung-hee siphoned off a handsome amount of money to overseas has turned out to be true. He is recognized as a relatively clean leader among presidents in developing countries.

On Tuesday, the U.S Department of Justice confiscated monetary asset of former President Chun Doo-hwan`s family worth 1.23 million dollars. It is known that the money was from Chun Doo-hwan’s second son, Chun Jae-yong, who sold a house in Newport Beach in California at 726,000 dollars and his wife Park Sang-a who owns immigration bond of U.S. investment worth 500,000 dollars. “Former President Chun betrayed the trust of the Korean people and damaged valuable resources of the nation by taking bribe and being involved in corruptions while in office,” said Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell, explaining the reason the Department of Justice made a joint investigation on the junior Chun.

Of the additional collection amount of 205.5 billion won (approx. 187 million dollars), former President Chun paid 108.7 billion won (approx. 98.7 million dollars) up to date. Even combined with the money confiscated this time, an additional amount of 95.5 billion won (approx. 86.6 million dollars) still has to be paid. It is hoped that the former president makes a full and quick payment of delayed amount and make atonement for his wrongdoing. Former President Roh Tae-woo who was ordered to pay 262.8 billion won (23.88 million dollars) by Supreme Court made a full payment two years ago by receiving back the money from his younger sibling and a relative by matrimonial relation to whom he had given money while in office. Known to be a generous man, former President Chun falls far short of former President Roh when it comes to paying additional collection amount.