A Seoul police station was found to have made a fraudulent report to its senior agency over the allegation that a businessman, reportedly murdered by an associate of a Seoul City councilor in a contract killing case, bribed public officials.
Though the Gangseo district police station had secured two copies of a memo allegedly written by the late businessman, it notified the National Police Agency and the Seoul District Police Agency that it had not seized the memo, investigators said Thursday.
In the memo were the names of several senior civil servants and the amount of money believed to have been delivered to them from the 67-year-old victim, surnamed Song.
The false report was revealed after an incumbent prosecutor was placed under investigation by the prosecution for being included on the kickback list.
While the prosecution announced that the prosecutor took 3 million won ($2,900) in bribes, a news provider reported later that the kickbacks delivered to the prosecutor exceeded 10 million won. The news provider cited intelligence held by police.
The concealment of the memo copies held by the police station has been linked to the prosecution’s scaling back of the prosecutor’s alleged misconduct.
Investigators claim that the Gangseo district police station was trying to prevent the names of some police officers, which were included on the list, from being made public.
The Seoul District Police Agency said it plans to conduct an internal investigation into the police station and take necessary punitive measures against officers involved in concealing the evidence.
The prosecutor on the list worked at the Seoul Southern District Prosecutor’s Office between 2003 and 2005, during which time he is believed to have received the money from Song. Investigators, however, declined to disclose the suspect’s name.
Kim Hyung-sik, recently elected to the Seoul municipal council in the June 4 local elections, was arrested last month on charges of hiring a hit man to kill Song.
The hit man, surnamed Paeng, told police that Kim hired him after he was placed under a police probe in May, according to investigators.
Song apparently had offered Kim about 500 million won in kickbacks between 2010 and 2011. Song “invested” in Kim after the suspect promised to pass several bills at the Seoul City Council that would raise property prices in western Seoul, where Song owned a large amount of land.
By Kim Yon-se (firstname.lastname@example.org)