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Police to step up probe over sex bribery scandal

Police said Thursday that they will launch a full-fledged investigation into allegations that a detained local construction contractor hired women to provide sexual favors to a number of high-profile figures in return for business benefits.

On Wednesday night, the 52-year-old construction contractor, surnamed Yoon, was put under detention immediately after a Seoul court approved the prosecution's request for an arrest warrant for the businessman who has been at the center of a massive sex scandal.

The National Police Agency (NPA) probing the case said that after reviewing investigation records, investigators will summon Yoon from his cell for questioning starting on Friday.

Yoon is suspected of offering lavish sexual entertainment between 2009 and 2011 to influential figures from all walks of life -- including former and incumbent ranking law enforcement officials such as former Vice Justice Minister Kim Hak-ui and the head of a hospital -- at his vacation home in Wonju, Gangwon Province, the NPA said.

In return, he allegedly gained business benefits, including winning construction contracts and favorable treatment in several lawsuits against him, the agency added.

Yoon is also under suspicion for forcing several women to provide sexual services after drugging them during a sex party at his Wonju home, officers said, adding that the women were allegedly given an aphrodisiac.

Earlier this month, the prosecution rejected the NPA request for an arrest warrant for Yoon and instead instructed the agency to refile an arrest warrant with a stronger argument on some of the charges against him.

By law, police can initiate preliminary investigations on their own but should be under the supervision of prosecutors. Also, the prosecution can oversee any police investigation and has the sole right to indict suspects.

After a week of supplementary investigation, the NPA refiled the warrant for Yoon under the supervision of the prosecution.

The Seoul Central District Court issued the warrant for Yoon, saying that his "crimes have been ascertained, and there is a reasonable concern that the suspect might attempt to destroy evidence or flee." (Yonhap News)

 

 

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