[EDITORIALS]Our strangely modest policeAfter 15 months, it has been belatedly reported that Kim Yeong-wan, a former arms dealer, was robbed of cash, bonds and dollars, totaling 9 billion won ($7.6 million). Hyundai Group has asserted that it gave certificates of deposit worth 15 billion won to Park Jie-won, former presidential chief of staff, and Mr. Kim was the one suspected of cashing out the deposits. Mr. Kim departed for the United States immediately after the National Assembly approved an act to name an independent counsel to probe the cash-for-summit allegations. Suspicions grew that his flight was organized by the last administration. It does seem curious that the robbery was not made public until now, despite Mr. Kim’s unimaginably large loss.
Some of the robbers were caught after two months, and their trials have already been completed. The press, however, knew nothing about any of this, which is impossible unless there were systematic attempts to conceal the case. The police did not report the robbery to higher authorities, saying that Mr. Kim did not want the case publicized. That is a lame explanation. Routinely, the police report large robberies to the upper command and issue press releases when they catch suspects. This time they acted as if they had been muted. What are we to make of this? Such silence is unimaginable unless a higher power tried to influence the police investigation.
Mr. Kim was reportedly close to Mr. Park and other key members of the last administration. The robbery took place in late March last year, when the Kim administration governed. It is easy to imagine that insidious power intervened in the case.
It is not too late for the police to lay bare everything they know about the robbery and the reason for its concealment. Mr. Kim’s driver, who was involved in the robbery, reportedly said that he thought Mr. Kim could not report the loss because the money was dirty. The independent counsel suspects that Mr. Kim changed some of the 15 billion won in certificates of deposits into bonds during his money-laundering activities. It is obviously important to trace whether the bonds stolen were the same bonds.