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Prosecutors raid land ministry, CJ affiliate in corruption probe

Former ranking officials of the Moon Jae-in government hold a press conference at the National Assembly in Seoul on Oct. 27, 2022, denouncing as
Former ranking officials of the Moon Jae-in government hold a press conference at the National Assembly in Seoul on Oct. 27, 2022, denouncing as "suppression on the opposition party" the ongoing probe by the prosecution into a South Korean official`s death by North Korean soldiers while drifting in waters in the West Sea in September 2020 and the Moon government`s forced deportation of two North Koreans to their home country in November 2019. From left are former National Security Adviser Suh Hoon and former chief presidential secretary Noh Young-min. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)
Prosecutors on Wednesday raided the land ministry and an affiliate of CJ Group as part of a probe into corruption allegations involving a former chief of staff under the preceding Moon Jae-in administration.

Prosecutors from the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office searched the office of the Korea Integrated Freight Terminal Co. and residences of company officials, as well as the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, to seize documents and emails, officials said.

The prosecution has been looking into allegations that the terminal operator hired Lee Jung-geun, a former deputy secretary general of the main opposition Democratic Party, as a full-time adviser for about a year starting 2020, at the request of Noh Young-min, who served as presidential chief of staff from 2019-20.

The land ministry recommended Lee to the CJ unit for the advisory post, and prosecutors suspect that Noh played a part in the process.

Lee has been arrested and indicted on charges that she pocketed nearly 1 billion won (US$739,600) in bribes from a businessman in return for business favors between 2019-2021.

Lee is also suspected of illegally receiving a total of 330 million won in political funds from the businessman in 2020 while parliamentary elections were under way.

She served on Moon's election camp while he ran for president in 2017 and on the election camp of incumbent DP Chair Lee Jae-myung while he ran for president in March.

She has denied the charges. (Yonhap)

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