Uzbekistanis in Korea preyed upon

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Uzbekistanis in Korea preyed upon

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday indicted a 46-year-old third generation Korean-Uzbek, surnamed Choi, on charges of defrauding 6.1 billion won ($5 million) from Uzbek industrial trainees in Korea.

Choi is also accused of disguising himself as the head of the Korean office of the Uzbekistan Ministry of Labor and Social Security, which controls three Uzbek employment agencies.

According to the prosecutors, Choi teamed up with the Uzbek labor minister and emigration director and cajoled a total of 30 billion won from 9,000 Uzbek industrial trainees working for Korean companies starting in May 2004. The trainees thought they were buying insurance policies. Choi took 6.1 billion of the 30 billion won, with the rest of the money going to the officials in Uzbekistan, who were punished by their government in 2007.

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