Narcotics cop squeezed addict for lots of money

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Narcotics cop squeezed addict for lots of money

A narcotics officer was indicted on charges of selling methamphetamines, taking money from a wanted drug offender to help him avoid arrest, and after the offender was eventually arrested, replacing his urine sample to help him get released, prosecutors at Seoul’s Central District Prosecutors’ Office said yesterday.

The drug offender was indicted yesterday, too.

According to prosecutors, the police sergeant surnamed Lee investigated the drug offender also surnamed Lee in 2007, after he received an outside tip that the man was taking methamphetamines.

Sergeant Lee allegedly met Lee at a Japanese restaurant and received a 3 million won ($2,609) bribe to not arrest him. Sergeant Lee reported that the tip was a false report.

When Lee was put on a wanted list in February by the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office, he sought help from Sergeant Lee to avoid arrest.

Sergeant Lee allegedly demanded 30 million won for his assistance.

And then he allegedly invited Lee to lunches and drinking sessions with his fellow officers between June and September and forced him to pay for the entertainment, which cost Lee 3.2 million won.

In August, Sergeant Lee shifted his interest from taking bribes to illegally selling methamphetamines.

Sergeant Lee phoned a narcotics dealer in Busan and secured 10 grams of methamphetamines and sold it to Lee for 4.5 million won.

Prosecutors said Sergeant Lee meticulously planned the narcotics sales to avoid arrest. According to prosecutors, he sent the drugs to Lee via express bus delivery after wrapping them in gift boxes, and allegedly received payment by motorbike “quick service” delivery.

When the drug offender Lee was eventually arrested by police in November, Sergeant Lee switched his urine sample to help him get released from custody.

He allegedly gave him a box of saline solution to help discharge drug residue from his body, and introduced him to a lawyer, allegedly pocketing 13 million won of the lawyer’s fee.

“This is a case that shows a police officer can illegally collude with narcotic dealers,” said Kim Hee-jun, a prosecutor at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office.


By Kim Mi-ju, Choe Sun-uk [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]

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