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Prosecutors to summon SK vice chairman over allegations

Prosecutors are considering calling in SK Group's vice chairman next week for questioning on suspicions of embezzling nearly 100 billion won ($88.3 million) of company funds, prosecution sources said Thursday.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office is investigating allegations that SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won and his younger brother Vice Chairman Jae-won embezzled 99.2 billion won from subsidiaries.

Eighteen affiliates of SK Group, whose key business interests range from telecommunications to oil refinery, made a joint investment worth 280 billion won in venture capital company Benex Investment headed by former SK Group executive Kim Jun-hong.

Of the total, about 99.2 billion won had reportedly been diverted back to former employee Kim Won-hong, now hiding in China, who manages a market investment fund for the two owners.

The summoning of the younger brother follows prosecutors’ search of SK Group affiliates earlier this week. They reportedly secured enough evidence backing up the allegations in the search.

The prosecution believes the vice chairman primarily led the embezzlement scheme, which purportedly also involved money laundering, the source said.

Whether the embezzled money has been spent for the chairman's stock futures investment and whether he was behind the fund interception are also being looked into, they said.

The prosecution will consider issuing a summons on the elder Chey after interrogating his younger brother, according to the sources.

(Yonhap News)

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