Published : 2013-08-25 15:02
Updated : 2013-08-25 15:02
Prosecutors said Sunday they have seized a bank account belonging to a nephew of former President Chun Doo-hwan as part of their efforts to reclaim concealed assets of the former military dictator convicted of taking bribes while in office in the 1980s.
Chun was ordered by the nation's top court in 1997 to return to state coffers some 220 billion won (US$196.8 million) he illegally accumulated through bribery from big businesses during his military-backed rule from 1980-88. Chun, who seized power through a coup, has refused to make the payment, with some 167.2 billion won remaining unpaid.
Prosecutors suspect that Chun's secret funds worth billions of won have flown into the bank account opened under the name of Lee Jae-hong, 57, the son of Chun's elder sister.
The 57-year-old Lee allegedly played a crucial role in laundering the illegal funds of Chun and his family members while running a mid-sized landscaping company, they added.
Suspecting that Chun stashed his fortunes in paper companies and bank accounts associated with family members, prosecutors have been zeroing in on not only his immediate family members but also his relatives and in-laws.
After raiding Lee's office earlier this month, the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office put Lee under an emergency arrest on Aug. 13 for questioning and released him two days later.
Also, Chun's brother-in-law, Lee Chang-seok, was formally detained last week over allegations that he evaded taxes in a land transaction to let Chun's children gain a profit, prosecutors said.
The 62-year-old allegedly helped Chun illegally transfer wealth to his two sons, they said. (Yonhap news)