Busan clients want CCTV footage of VIPs

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Busan clients want CCTV footage of VIPs

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About 200 Busan Savings Bank customers held a rally yesterday in the parking lot of the bank’s headquarters in Choryang-dong, eastern Busan, yesterday, calling for an investigation of VIP withdrawals. [NEWSIS]


After well-connected customers of the Busan Savings Bank got inside information that the bank was being suspended and took out their money, a group of less-well connected customers are demanding to see CCTV footage from the bank on the day of the withdrawals.

A group of angry ordinary customers whose money is trapped in the bank held a rally yesterday in the hall of the bank’s Hwamyeong branch, northern Busan, calling for the disclosure of the CCTV footage on Feb. 16, the day before the bank was suspended, to identify the VIPs privy to the inside information.

“I heard on Feb.18 the allegation about the withdrawal by VIP customers,” said Kim Ok-ju, head of a committee of bank customers. “I reported it to the police, asking them to check the CCTV footage. Kim says she called the police to come to the bank. But the two policemen who came to the bank said they weren’t authorized to inspect the footage because the bank is a private company.”

Busan Savings Bank, the country’s biggest savings bank, was suspended on Feb. 17 due to capital shortages. The night before the suspension took effect, the bank had massive withdrawals amounting to around 9.2 billion won ($8.6 million), according to the Financial Supervisory Service.

“We think the police ignored the report on the unfair withdrawal by VIP customers,” Kim added.

Police said they didn’t send any policemen to the the bank on Feb.18.

“It is true that police received a report on Feb.18 from Kim,” police explained yesterday. “But, at the time, police told Kim that we need a charge of a crime to investigate CCTV footage. And Kim suddenly hung up the phone.”

The committee said it is seeking cooperation with prosecutors in order to figure out whether police indeed came to the scene or not.

About 200 members of the committee also held a rally in the afternoon in the parking lot of the Busan Savings Bank’s Choryang branch, eastern Busan, calling for a thorough investigation of the withdrawals by rich customers.

The VIP customers who were given special privileges to withdraw their deposits had at least two accounts in the bank, and each account contained a minimum of 100 million won and subordinated bonds worth more than 300 million won.

The customers on the committee, most of whom are in their 60s and 70s and from low-income families, said they are suffering financial problems due to their money being trapped in the bank.

“After my husband died, I have been struggling for saving my pennies by working in a factory,” said Bae Jeong-nyeon, a 61-year-old housewife who had more than 50 million won ($46,772) in the bank. “All of my severance pay is in Busan Savings Bank. But I can’t find any way to get it back. I can’t believe Busan Savings Bank, which used to be the leading bank in the region, has been suspended.”

Nam Gi-in, a 68-year old retiree, said, “For the past 50 years in the workplace, I saved about 80 million won in the bank to live on after retirement and to help finance my son’s wedding. Now I can’t help with my son’s wedding and I am taking tranquilizers.”

The Central Investigation Department of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office said yesterday it obtained the names of 22 VIP customers of Busan Savings Bank who withdrew more than 50 million won from their accounts on Feb. 16.

The bank has about 230 VIP customers.

Prosecutors said they will investigate the withdrawals and whether customers paid off bank officials or staff who notified them about the suspension the following day.

To help the customers of seven suspended savings banks, including Busan Savings Bank, 21 lawmakers, proposed a revision to the Depositor Protection Act on Friday to increase the size of deposits guaranteed by the government.


By Kim Hee-jin, Im Hyun-ju [heejin@joongang.co.kr]


한글 관련 기사 [연합]

저축銀 피해자, 사흘째 경찰출동 CCTV 공개요구

김옥주 부산저축은행 비상대책위원장과 예금 피해자들은 1일 부산시 북구 화명동 부산저축은행 화명지점에서 사흘째 밤샘농성을 하며 지난달 18일 VIP고객의 부정인출 신고에 경찰이 적절한 조치를 못했다고 당시 CCTV 화면을 공개할 것을 주장했다.

김옥주 위원장은 "지난 18일 부산저축은행 화명동지점에서 부정인출 사례가 있다는 사실을 경찰에 신고, 영업정지 전의 은행 폐쇄회로(CC)TV를 확인해 달라고 요청했지만 출동한 경찰관 2명은 개인 사업장이라는 이유로 그냥 현장을 떠났다"며 "경찰이 일부 VIP고객들의 부정인출에 대한 신고를 묵살한 것 아니냐"고 주장했다.

대책위는 지난달 29일 경찰 입회하에 은행 건물 엘리베이터 내부 CCTV를 확인했으나 경찰이 출동한 영상을 찾지 못하자 북부경찰서에 당시 112신고센터 녹취록과 신고 내용에 대한 정보공개를 신청하고 출동한 경찰관 2명의 신원을 공개할 것을 요구한 상태다.

이에 대해 경찰은 "18일 오후 1시께 112신고가 접수된 건 맞지만, 신고를 받은 지구대 경찰이 'CCTV는 범죄 혐의가 있어야 확인할 수 있다. 현장으로 가겠다'고 했지만, 김 위원장이 일방적으로 전화를 끊어 출동조차 하지 못했다"고 말했다.

경찰은 112신고 출동 여부가 논란이 되자 예금보험공사와 검찰청 중수부의 협조를 통해 비대위 측에서 CCTV 녹화내용을 확인할 수 있도록 협의할 예정이다.

한편 부산저축은행 피해자들은 이날 낮 12시께 동구 초량동 부산저축은행 본점에서 비상총회를 가지고 예금피해 보전과 영업정지 전 부정 인출자 공개를 요구했다.

이들은 2일 서울로 올라가 대검찰청에 김석동 금융위원장을 고소할 계획이다.

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