Published : 2013-08-13 20:51
Updated : 2013-08-13 20:51
State prosecutors on Tuesday raided the properties of former President Chun Doo-hwan's relatives as part of intensive efforts to collect the massive amount of money he had illegally amassed while in office in the 1980s.
Chun was ordered by the country's top court in 1997 to return to the state coffers the 220 billion won (US$196.8 million) he was found to have illegally accumulated during his military rule from 1980 to 1988.
So far, the former dictator has paid only a quarter of the total, with some 167.2 billion won remaining unpaid. Arguing he was nearly penniless, he has refused to make the payment.
On Tuesday, a team of investigators and prosecutors of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office raided three houses of Chun's relatives and an office owned by one of them, and seized computer disks and other relevant documents.
The raid came as the prosecution suspects the relatives allowed Chun to open bank accounts under their names, which he used to manage the stashed money.
It also suspects that the raided firm played a role in laundering the secret funds of Chun and his family members, according to officials.
Upon analyzing the confiscated documents, the prosecution plans to launch a probe into the relatives and officials of the company, they added.
There has been a public outcry about the delay in collecting the former president's unpaid fines, as the statute of limitations in Chun's case expires in October.
In May, the prosecution formed a task force and vowed to mobilize all possible means to collect the remaining fine from the former president. Last month, the parliament passed a bill aimed at extending the statute of limitations on forfeiting and imposing fines on public officials' illegal wealth from three years to 10.
Under the revision, Chun is required to pay the remainder of his fines by October 2020.